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KI Psychiatric Genomics Institute

The Psychiatric Genomics Institute is a systematic program established to evaluate the epidemiological, molecular, and cellular effects of genetic risk loci for psychiatric disorders.

Psychiatric genomics has achieved unprecedented advances. After a century of uncertain progress and debate about the nature of severe psychiatric disorders, we now possess extraordinary new knowledge about the fundamental genetic architectures. A decade ago, there was perhaps one solid finding for schizophrenia, and there are now over 130 loci that meet consensus criteria for significance and replication. Work in progress is likely to increase this number substantially.

The major funder for the KI-Psychiatric Genomics Institute (KI-PGI) is the Swedish research council (Vetenskapsrådet) (grant no 583-2013-8865). Additional funding comes from the EU (The COSYN project, H2020 grant no. 667301), and NIMH (The Swedish schizophrenia study - S3, grant no. R01 MH077139-07 RPPR).

Main projects

  • The SUN consortium (Schizophrenia United Network consortium): The goal of SUN is to use functional genomics and neuroscience to understand the genomic results for neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • COSYN (Comorbidity and Synapse Biology in Clinically Overlapping Psychiatric Disorders): COSYN is a KI-coordinated EU-funded project integrating 14 partners across Europe, including both academic and industry groups. COSYN is a precision medicine programme, with the goal to find an effective therapy for rare individuals with synaptic mutations causal to intellectual disability, autism, and/or schizophrenia. Novel patient-specific neuronal cell models will be developed to investigate the functionality of identified synaptic mutations, with the ultimate goal to be used for screening and identification of approved medications to be evaluated in individualized drug trials.
  • S3 (Sweden Schizophrenia Study): The overall goal of S3 is to identify genetic and environmental factors that contribute to psychotic disorders, and to investigate how these factors interact. To reach our study aims we plan to include at least 5000 additional patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
  • The GAPS consortium (Genomic Aggregation Project in Sweden): GAPS has developed a framework for aggregating existing genomic data from Swedes, and has so far enrolled 40 studies. The overall aim is to gather Swedish genome-wide genomic data in a single location to be processed in a standardized way. The scientific goals we aim to accomplish include e.g. estimating control genetic variation frequencies and develop a fine-grained understanding of population genetics of Sweden, as well as determining SNP-heritabilities and co-heritabilities across disorders
  • EU iPSC consortium: This consortium brings together 8 EU neuroscience labs (including co-leader Dr Anna Falk’s lab at KI) to form an integrated network of neuroscientists to investigate neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We published a review paper in Molecular Psychiatry (Falk et al, 2016), and are working on neurons from patients with NRXN1 mutations.

An additional general goal of KI-PGI is to assist KI colleagues in applying genomics to their research areas.

Research group

Christina Hultman

Affiliated to research

Sarah Bergen

Senior researcher

Jie Song

Postdoctoral researcher

Shuyang Yao

Postdoctoral researcher

Anna Kähler

Project manager

Julien Bryois

Affiliated to research

Yi Lu

Assistant professor

Amir Sariaslan

Affiliated to research

Mohsen Moslem

Postdoctoral researcher

Kaarina Kowalec

Affiliated to research

Alexander Viktorin

Affiliated to research

Staffan Bergh

System developer

Ann-Kristin Sundberg

Research nurse