Gerome Breen

gerome.breen@kcl.ac.uk

+44 (0) 2078480409

Biography

I lead the NIHR Maudsley BioResource centre, part of the NIHR BioResource. A BioResource is a biobank - a repository of biological samples for medical research - whose participants can be contacted to take part in studies, and whose samples can be used to study the molecular basis of psychiatric and neurological disorders.  I am currently running The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression or GLAD study with my close collaborator Professor Thalia Eley. You can hear us talking about the study here, and can watch an animation about the study here.  

I lead the NIHR Mental Health BioResource, of which GLAD is the first study, which aims to recruit >100,000 participants in the next 5 years.

Within one of these consortia - the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) - I have done substantial work on major depressive disorder. We are now finally finding dozens of genetic variants related to this disorder, thanks to a massive increase in sample size - we're now working with datasets exceeding >1,000,000 individuals. I also chair (with my close collaborator Cindy Bulik) the PGC Anorexia and Eating Disorders group, where we are beginning to find genetic hits for Anorexia nervosa, the most lethal psychiatric disorder.

Another of my main research interests is uncovering biological pathways using large scale genetic data, work which I undertake with the PGC Network and Pathway Analysis group where we aim not only to find biological mechanisms from genetic data but also to identify potential drug targets and drug repositioning opportunities. I organise the annual PGC Industry meeting "Pathways to Drugs", aiming to stimulate discussion between geneticists and the pharma and biotech industries to stimulate renewed drug discovery efforts in psychiatry.

2015 Reader in Translational and Neuropsychiatric Genetic, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London

2011 Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, UK

2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Status of Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
2004 MRC Bioinformatics Training Fellow, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
2000 Sim Research Fellow in Pharmacogenetics of Affective Disorders, Royal College of Physicians (Edin.), University of Aberdeen and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK

PhD Schizophrenia Genetics and DNA Pooling, University of Aberdeen, UK
MSc Medical Molecular Genetics, University of Aberdeen, UK
BSc Industrial Biochemistry, University of Limerick, Ireland

I am theme lead for the BioResource for Mental and Neurological Health theme at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London.

I lead the NIHR Maudsley BioResource centre, part of the NIHR BioResource. A BioResource is a biobank - a repository of biological samples for medical research - whose participants can be contacted to take part in studies, and whose samples can be used to study the molecular basis of psychiatric and neurological disorders. I also run a genomics and laboratory core for Mental Health in laboratories at the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre, managing a team of postdocs, lab staff and collection staff (~20 members). We work closely with many other themes but particularly the BRC Biomarkers & Genomics theme and the Clinical Informatics theme. With colleagues around the country, I lead the NIHR Mental Health BioResource which aims to enrol>40,000 people with a diagnosis of a mental illness.

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Bioresource

Bioresource collects biological samples such as blood and saliva for molecular analysis which are linked to electronic medical records of people who have agreed to participate in research.
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