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Patrick Sullivan
Patrick Sullivan, MD, FRANZCP

Patrick Sullivan, MD, FRANZCP, Ray M. Hayworth & Family Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Psychiatry has been awarded a 5-year, $3.7 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) titled “Sequencing and Trans-Diagnostic Phenotyping of Severe Mental Illness in Diverse Populations”.

Co-investigators include Yun Li, PhD, Professor of Genetics and Biostatistics, Cindy Bulik, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Nutrition, and Jerry Guintivano, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. The UNC grant lead by Dr. Sullivan is 1 of 3 linked R01s with the other sites led by Alexander Charnery, MD, PhD, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and James Walters, MD, PhD, at Cardiff University, UK.


In this new study, Dr. Sullivan and team will capitalize on the lessons from the past 15 years of psychiatric genomics and use a new and interesting direction to increase diversity and global representation with particular efforts to study those who are understudied in this field. They will perform whole-exome sequencing and common variant SNP genotyping and comprehensively analyze ultra-rare exonic, rare copy number, and common variation on 130,000 cases with clinically severe psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar I disorder, or severe major depressive disorder. They have partnered with the Regeneron Genomics Center (RGC) to conduct all genomic assays.

Successful completion of the proposed work will markedly increase the number of genes pinpointed by burdens of rare coding variation, rare CNVs, as well as less specific GWAS associations, which will markedly increase knowledge of the genetic architectures of these critically important and burdensome disorders.

Sullivan Aims 2022

This grant is also featured in the UNC Health Newsroom.