NIH Sep 18, 2002 | D43

Training Program for Psychiatric Genetics in India

Principal Investigator(s): Nimgaonkar, Vishwajit

Institution: University of Pittsburgh

FOA Number: RFA-TW-02-001


Psychiatric disorders are common and significant sources of morbidity in developing as well as developed countries, yet their etiology is unknown. Like several common human diseases, certain severe psychiatric disorders have a proven genetic etiology. However, the mode of inheritance is complex and successful gene mapping efforts will likely require large (family-based) samples. Such samples are difficult to ascertain in developed countries and have been largely restricted to Caucasians. In contrast, large-scale recruitment is more feasible in India and novel etiological factors may also be present. Furthermore, tandem studies in the US and India may clarify the role of genetic etiological factors against diverse environmental backgrounds. Based on this premise, we have established productive, parallel efforts directed at schizophrenia genetics in India and the USA. Our India collaborators have identified two major obstacles to equitable collaboration: adequately trained genetic epidemiologists are unavailable locally, and cultural norms for informed consent need to be clarified. To address these requirements, we plan for long-term training for three post-doctoral trainees in psychiatric genetic epidemiology and one in ethics. In addition to conventional didactic and practical training at Pittsburgh, the program will involve novel, supervised field training at New Delhi. The data gathered will facilitate future genetic counseling and gene mapping efforts. They will also enable trainees to further their research careers. Thus, the present proposal will lay the ground for a tradition of training and research in psychiatric research in a country where psychiatric disorders are common, but are stigmatized. Treatment and research for these disorders is an important, unmet health need in India.




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Start Date:
Sep 18, 2002

End Date:
Aug 31, 2007



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