Revitalizing translational psychiatry - Steven Hyman

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Thursday, October 1, 2015
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9:15am to 10:00am PDT
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Steven Hyman, MD

Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Can genomics rescue psychiatric therapeutics?

Abstract: The genetic analysis of polygenic brain disorders is proceeding at an accelerating pace with initial success in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and common forms of autism spectrum and neurodegenerative disorders. However, a difficult, unfamiliar terrain separates the resulting lists of myriad low penetrance alleles from the elucidation of disease mechanisms and new effective treatments. I will discuss progress and near-term goals in the genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as early ideas and experimental approaches to the interrogation of ‘polygenes’ and the much-needed humanization of biological studies.

Bio: Steven E. Hyman, M.D. is Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, a Core Faculty Member of the Broad Institute, and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology.  From 2001 to 2011, he served as Provost of Harvard University, the University’s chief academic officer.  As Provost he had a special focus on development of collaborative initiatives in the sciences and engineering spanning multiple disciplines and institutions.  From 1996 to 2001, he served as director of the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where he emphasized investment in neuroscience and emerging genetic technologies.  He also initiated a series of large practical clinical trials, including an emphasis on children, a population about which little was known.

Hyman is the editor of the Annual Review of Neuroscience, founding President of the International Neuroethics Society (2008-2014), and President (2015) of the Society for Neuroscience, the leading professional organization for neuroscientists with approximately 40,000 members.  He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies where he serves on the governing Council, the Board of Health Science Policy, and chairs the Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, which brings together industry, government, academia, patient groups, and foundations.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Hyman received his B.A. summa cum laude from Yale College, a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Cambridge, which he attended as a Mellon fellow, and an M.D. cum laude from Harvard Medical School.