The Psychiatric Cell Map Initiative

A Convergent Systems Biological Approach to Illuminating Key Molecular Pathways in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Although gene discovery in neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and Tourette disorder, has accelerated, resulting in a large number of molecular clues, it has proven difficult to generate specific hypotheses without the corresponding datasets at the protein complex and functional pathway level. Here, we describe one path forward—an initiative aimed at mapping the physical and genetic interaction networks of these conditions and then using these maps to connect the genomic data to neurobiology and, ultimately, the clinic. These efforts will include a team of geneticists, structural biologists, neurobiologists, systems biologists, and clinicians, leveraging a wide array of experimental approaches and creating a collaborative infrastructure necessary for long-term investigation. This initiative will ultimately intersect with parallel studies that focus on other diseases, as there is a significant overlap with genes implicated in cancer, infectious disease, and congenital heart defects.

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