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Matthew Halvorsen, PhD (Assistant Professor, Genetics)

Matthew Halvorsen, PhD (Assistant Professor, Genetics) was awarded an R21 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for his project titled “Acceleration of risk gene discovery for Tic Disorders through large-scale collaboration”.

The study proposes to implicate dysfunction of novel single genes with increased risk for Tourette Syndrome (TS) by conducting a TS exome sequencing study that combines trio-based TS data with a large amount of case/control data that primarily originates from Scandinavia.  The team will conduct whole exome sequencing (WES) on samples from a cohort of 140 TS trios and 300 unrelated TS cases collected by clinician collaborators in Sweden and then obtain exome sequence data from 3000 Swedish controls and process these samples together to form the most well-powered Swedish TS case/control exome dataset of its kind.  The lab will conduct a comprehensive case/control comparison of rare coding variant burden that incorporates calculations of TS polygenic risk, and if detectable genetic risk is present, determine if it influences specific patient outcomes in the phenotypic data.