The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute is comprised of multiple labs that together are attempting to discover molecular mechanisms of disease for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with the goal of advancing therapeutics.
My current research activity takes place at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. I direct the Center but do not direct an individual lab. I have offices both in Bauer-Fairchild at Harvard and at the Broad Institute.
For a list of principal investigators and projects, see:
Based on a conjunction of powerful new enabling technologies, a committed interdisciplinary faculty from the Harvard, MIT, and Harvard-affiliated hospital communities, the Stanley Center is making significant advances in understanding molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric diseases as a critical step toward discovering effective new therapeutics.
The Center focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and frequently co-occurring neurodevelopmental disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We work on these illnesses because of their public health significance and because their high heritabilities have made them tractable to modern genomic and computational tools. We study these disorders together because they exhibit informative patterns of shared genetic risk and because their pathogenesis occurs against the backdrop of brain development.
Our work is grounded in large-scale, unbiased genetics conducted with collaborators around the world. Progress in identifying genetic variation associated with mental illness has illuminated new biological mechanism that inform neurobiological experiments and provides powerful tools for investigating both genetic and environmental contributions to disease phenotypes. Within the center there are robust interactions among scientist focused on genetics, neurobiology (based both in stem cell technologies and animal models), therapeutic discovery, and epidemiology. Our members share a commitment to interdisciplinary exchange and sharing of methods, tools, and data, with the goal of bringing the most effective tools to bear as rapidly as possible on the difficult scientific problems of mental illness. We collaborate extensively with research groups around the world to identify important patient populations, technologies, and scientific approaches that will significantly advance our research objectives and knowledge for the psychiatric research community.
Recent papers from Stanley Center Scientists
Nestler, EJ and Hyman SE. Animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders. Nature Neuroscience 13:1161-9, 2010.
Hyman, SE. Revolution stalled. Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 155cm11 (2012).
McCarroll, SA, Hyman, SE. Progress in genetics of polygenic brain disorders: Significant new challenges for neurobiology. Neuron 80:578-587, 2013.
Hyman, SE. The unconscionable gap between what we know and what we do. Sci. Transl. Med. 6:253cm9, 2014.
McCarroll, SA, Feng, G, Hyman, SE Genome-scale neurogenetics: Methodology and meaning. Nature Neuroscience 17:746-63, 2014
Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature 2014 511:421-427.
De Rubeis S, He X, Goldberg AP, Poultney CS, Samocha K, et al.
Nature. 2014 515(7526):209-15. doi: 10.1038/nature13772.
Lodato S, Arlotta P. Generating neuronal diversity in the mammalian cerebral cortex. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2015;31:699-720.
Network and Pathway Analysis Subgroup of Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Psychiatric genome-wide association study analyses implicate neuronal, immune and histone pathways. Nat Neurosci. 2015 18(2):199-209. doi: 10.1038/nn.3922.
Sekar A, Bialas AR, de Rivera H, Davis A, Hammond TR, Kamitaki N, Tooley K, Presumey J, Baum M, Van Doren V, Genovese G, Rose SA, Handsaker RE; Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Daly MJ, Carroll MC, Stevens B, McCarroll SA. Schizophrenia risk from complex variation of complement component 4. Nature. 2016 530(7589):177-83. doi: 10.1038/nature16549.
Brains, Identity, and Moral Agency
Human beings experience a sense of self that provides a stable foundation from which to understand personal experience, consciously formulate goals, and initiate actions. The view that people act in accordance with freely formed intensions underlies important concepts of moral agency and culpability, yet evidence from neuroscience questions this assumption. This course will examine competing views of human agency grounded in concrete scientific examples to encourage reflection on the implications for identity and moral agency.