2008 Breakthrough: Important Genetic Links to Schizophrenia Discovered

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., Expert in Schizophrenia Research
Mary-Claire King, Ph.D.

In 2008, Foundation Scientific Council Member Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. from the University of Washington—widely known for her discovery of a mutation in a gene she named BRCA1 that led to powerful breast cancer diagnostics— led research teams in the discovery of rare genetic mutations found in high volumes in people with schizophrenia. These mutations―genes that are either deleted or duplicated throughout the genome―are thought to disrupt the brain during development, offering evidence that they could signal susceptibility for developing various mental illnesses (in this case schizophrenia and autism).

Read article in our 2010 issue of Breakthroughs

Read a comprehensive summary of this research from the NIMH

Read the scientific abstract from the April 25, 2008 issue of Science Magazine

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