NIHR Maudsley BRC Blog

Our latest news and events

Depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder linked with ancient viral DNA in our genome – new research

Around 8% of human DNA is made up of genetic sequences acquired from ancient viruses. These sequences, known as human endogenous retroviruses (or Hervs), date back hundreds of thousands to millions of years – with some even predating the emergence of Homo sapiens.

This article is written by Rodrigo Duarte, Research Fellow, King's College LondonDouglas Nixon, Professor of Immunology in Medicine, Cornell University, and Timothy Powell, Senior lecturer, King's College London. It is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

 

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 28 May 2024

Ancient viral DNA in the human genome linked to major psychiatric disorders

New research led by King’s College London has found that thousands of DNA sequences originating from ancient viral infections are expressed in the brain, with some contributing to susceptibility for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 22 May 2024

An interview with... Professor Richard Emsley

Professor Richard Emsley is the NIHR Maudsley BRC's Theme Lead in Trials, Prediction and Genomics, and was recently appointed the role of Interim Academic Director of the King’s Clinical Trials Unit and lead of a new NIHR Research Services Support hub. He specialises in improving the delivery of clinical trials in mental health, supported by the NIHR and with partners at King's College London's as well as across the country. In this interview he provides some insights into his work in this area.

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 24 Jan 2024

New NIHR Research Support Service established at King's College London

The National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) has awarded £6.8 million to King’s College London to establish a new Research Support Service that will focus on mental health and neuroscience. Led by Professor Richard Emsley, the Research Support Service managed by King’s College London will form part of a national network of eight RSS hubs which will start work from 1 October 2023.

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 17 Jul 2023

Molecular ageing clocks – making the links between mental illness and shorter lifespans

Dr Julian Mutz is a post-doctoral research associate at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. Cathryn Lewis is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology & Statistics at King’s College London and NIHR Maudsley BRC’s deputy theme lead for Trials, Genomics and Prediction.

In this blog, they discuss their research on biological ageing in individuals with mental health conditions and highlight how their epidemiological studies may inform clinical research and practice.

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 4 May 2023