Weill Cornell Medicine Psychiatry

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The Department of Psychiatry has developed a unique research approach to advancing psychiatric care through highly integrated studies of human subjects and animal models. In this approach human genetic variants that affect behavior are introduced into the genome of animals that allows precise analysis of their effects on neuron function, brain circuitry, and behavior. This information is then used to guide testing for similar effects in humans who carry the same variant ultimately to understand the role of genes on risk for psychiatric disorders and to target specific treatments to the people most likely to respond to them. To implement this Vertically Integrated Translational Approach, investigators with expertise in animal neurobiology and behavior, human genetics, human neuroimaging, and developmental neurobiology work closely to design experiments that allow close translation of animal results to humans. This approach has led to identifying genetic variants as predictors of treatment response to psychiatric disorders.