Understanding the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders is a substantial challenge for neurobiologists. It has long been hoped that identifying alleles that confer increased risk of such disorders would provide clues for neurobiological investigation. But this quest has been stymied by a lack of validated biological markers for characterizing and distinguishing the different disorders and by the genetic complexity underpinning these diseases. Now, modern genomic technologies have begun to facilitate the discovery of relevant genes.

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Steven Hyman is Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute, where his goal is to drive the genetics of schizophrenia to the point of diminishing returns with respect to biological information, with bipolar disorder following closely behind.

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