Silvio O. Conte Center on the Computational Systems Genomics of Psychiatric Disorders

Type of Award: Lever
Date Awarded: May 2012
Award End Date:
Amount Awarded: $ 1,999,431.00
PI(s): Andrey Rzhetsky, UChicago; Edwin Cook, UIC; Richard Morimoto, NU;

Abstract: The CBC has awarded the fourth Lever Award to a group of scientists from the three CBC member institutions: Andrey Rzhetsky (UChicago), Edwin Cook (UIC), and Richard Morimoto (NU) to support the Silvio O. Conte Center on the Computational Systems Genomics of Psychiatric Disorders. The CBC Lever of $2 million matches a $11.75 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health: the Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic and Translational Mental Health Research (P-50) award. The new Conte Center, a multi-institutional effort, will be based at the University of Chicago, and will apply data mining strategies to study mental disorders. Specifically the center aims to design and validate a battery of novel analytical tools for the inference of causal relationships among human genomic variations, environmental factors, and more than one neurodevelopmental phenotype, explicitly exploiting the genetic and environmental non-independence of complex (multigenic) disorders.

The P50 has four core projects that will study the genome structure of molecular networks involved in psychiatric disorders as well as the effect of genetic and non-genetic variation on the topology and characteristics of these networks.

Core Project 1: Pharmacogenomics and Modeling the Joint Effects of Genes and Environment in Psychiatric Disorders
Core Project 2: Modeling the temporal succession of phenotypes and environmental cues in the context of latent genetics
Core Project 3: Modeling disease risk in the context of molecular networks and gene association or linkage data
Core Project 4: Deciphering brain phenotypes through integrative modeling of multiple data types

The CBC Lever Awards are matching grants made to inter-institutional groups that are submitting large-scale grant proposals. The CBC Lever funds supporting the Conte Center will be specifically used for:

1. Enhancing the computational and experimental resources related to the Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic and Translational Mental Health Research (P-50) award, making them available to Chicago-area researchers, whether they are included as Principal Investigators on the P-50 or not.

2. Purchasing computer infrastructure for text mining of large-scale molecular networks, for large-scale study of variants in human genes associated with clinical phenotypes, for analysis of genetic and pharmagenomic data in the context of molecular networks, and to make these analyses maximally useful to a wide group of researchers.

3. Providing technical support and experimental supplies for P-50 and non-P-50 investigators -- using the tri-institutional cloud computing infrastructure -- for accesssing deep sequencing and proteomics services, as well as testing theories from computational analysis in model biological systems.

4. Supporting extensive educational and outreach activities involving the Chicago-area research community.

For more information about the center visit the Conte Center website.