Dr. Sullivan, the Yeargen Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics and Director, Center for Psychiatric Genomics is the co-PI on a new R01 award from NIMH.
The proposal, titled “Genetics at an extreme: an efficient genomic study of individuals with clinically server major depression receiving ECT” is co-led with Dr. Peter Zandi at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study will support work by the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC) which is a collaboration of 26 academic medical centers providing care for patients with mood disorders. The goal is to enroll 25,000 patients receiving ECT for severe MDD and to carry out a GWAS comparing these cases with 50,000 non-depressed controls. Additionally, a GWAS of response to ECT in 10,000 patients with follow-up data will be completed. This study should advance understanding of the genetic etiology of severe MDD and hopefully lead to new treatment strategies, as well as identify genetic factors that can help distinguish which patients are good candidates for ECT before initiating treatment.