19 - 21 June 2018

Venue: Comwell Klarskovgaard, DK-Korsør
Venue: Comwell Klarskovgaard, DK-Korsør

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS (in alphabetic order)

Professor Andrew McIntosh

Professor Andrew McIntosh, The University of Edinburgh
Professor Andrew McIntosh, The University of Edinburgh

Title of keynote: What the world needs to learn about depression, and how iPSYCH can help? Part 1

Andrew McIntosh is Professor of Biological Psychiatry and Director of the MRC Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh. He trained in Medicine in Scotland before completing further postgraduate training in Psychiatry and in Statistics. He leads the Generation Scotland Expert Working Group for Psychiatric Disorders and is involved in several genetic consortia. His main research interest is in developing a better understanding the causes and consequences of depression. He currently co-chairs the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Major Depressive Disorder Working Group with Cathryn Lewis.

Professor Anita Thapar

Professor Anita Thapar, Cardiff University
Professor Anita Thapar, Cardiff University

Title of keynote: What does the world need to learn about ADHD and how can iPSYCH help fill those gaps?

Anita Thapar heads the academic Child & Adolescent Psychiatry section at the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University and also directs the developmental disorders group within the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics.

Her research focuses on the early origins and development of child neurodevelopmental disorders.  Currently funded research grants include the contribution of genetic and early life exposures to ADHD and ASD trajectories, the genetics of preterm birth and its links with neurodevelopmental disorders, links between neurodevelopmental and mood disorders. Anita qualified in Medicine in Cardiff in 1985 and did a PhD in genetic epidemiology. She was Senior Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Manchester between 1996 and 1999. She then became the first Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Wales in 1999.

In 2015, she served as lead editor (together with Dr. Daniel S. Pine, NIMH) of the authoritative international textbook Rutter's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has won several prizes including the President’s Medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2015 for contributions to policy, public knowledge, education and meeting population and patient care needs, the Ruane Prize 2015 from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, USA for outstanding Child & Adolescent Psychiatric research, the Professor of Psychiatry Club Academic Women in Psychiatry Award (joint) for enhancing the careers of academic women in psychiatry and the Learned Society of Wales Frances Hoggan Medal for outstanding research by women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine or Mathematics. In 2017 Anita was awarded a CBE by the Queen for services to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

She is married to a clinical academic and has two grown up sons one of whom is a medical student. 

Professor Cathryn Lewis

Professor Cathryn Lewis, King's College London
Professor Cathryn Lewis, King's College London

Title of keynote: What the world needs to learn about depression, and how iPSYCH can help? Part 2

Cathryn Lewis is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology & Statistics at King’s College London.  She leads the Statistical Genetics Unit in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, and the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine.  Her academic training is in mathematics and statistics, and she has been involved in genetic studies since her PhD studies.  She chairs the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Major Depressive Disorder Working group, and leads the NIHR Maudsley BRC Biomarkers and Genomics theme.  Her research group of 15 multi-disciplinary researchers aims to identify and characterise genetic variants conferring risk of common, complex disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and stroke.  A major research focus is risk assessment, determining how the polygenic component of common diseases can be measured accurately and communicated effectively. 

Professor Dan Geschwind

Professor Dan Geschwind, UCLA
Professor Dan Geschwind, UCLA

Title of keynote: Autism genetics, 2018: One neurologists view

Dr. Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, Neurology and Psychiatry at UCLA. In his capacity as Senior Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Precision Health, he leads the Institute for Precision Health at UCLA. His laboratory has pioneered the application of systems biology methods in neurologic and psychiatric disease.  Dr. Geschwind has put considerable effort into fostering large-scale collaborative patient resources for genetic research and data sharing in autism research. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards, including the Faculty of 1000 Medicine, the Executive Committee of the American Neurological Association, the Scientific Advisory Board for the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the NIMH Advisory Council and the NIH Council of Councils. He has published over 400 papers and serves on the editorial boards of Cell, Neuron and Science.  He has received several awards for his laboratory’s work and leadership including the Ruane Prize from the Brain and Behavior Foundation in 2013 and the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award from the American Neurological Association (ANA) in 2004.  He is an elected Member of the American Association of Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine.

Professor Daniele Fallin

Professor M Daniele Fallin, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Professor M Daniele Fallin, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Title of keynote: Autism Research – Important questions and emerging answers

M. Daniele (Dani) Fallin, PhD, is the Sylvia and Harold Halpert Professor and Chair of the Department of Mental Health and the Director of the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also holds joint appointments in School’s Epidemiology and Biostatistics Departments as well as in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry. She earned a PhD in Genetic Epidemiology at Case Western Reserve University before coming to Johns Hopkins as an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology in 2001. She has served as a standing member of two epidemiology-focused NIH study sections, including current membership of NAME, and is a past Special Editor for Genetics for the journal Epidemiology. Her research group studies how environments, behaviors, genetic variation, and epigenetic variation contribute to risk for psychiatric disease, particularly autism.  She is the PI of the Maryland site of the SEED study (Study to Explore Early Development), a multi-site case-control study of autism genetic and environmental risk factors and the EARLI study (Early Autism Research Longitudinal Investigation), a prospective pregnancy cohort focused on causes of autism. She has further led GWAS and EWAS studies based on SEED, EARLI, and other autism samples.

Professor James Walters

Professor James Walters, Cardiff University
Professor James Walters, Cardiff University

Title of keynote: Insights from Schizophrenia GWAS

James Walters' research interests centre on three areas: (i) using genetics to gain insight into the basis of psychosis and schizophrenia (ii) studying the genetic, biological and psychosocial factors associated with treatment-resistant schizophrenia with the aim of stratifying those with psychosis to develop more personalised treatment approaches and (iii) developing large-scale methods of phenotypic data collection including on-line cognitive assessment and electronic health record linkage. In the last 5 years I have developed the CLOZUK project, the world's largest collection of genetic samples from those with schizophrenia (17000) to help us address our research aims.

I am the Director of Research in the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences in Cardiff University, the Deputy Director of the National Centre for Mental Health and a senior member of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics. I am Vice-Chair of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Schizophrenia Group and do clinical work as an honorary consultant psychiatrist with the Cardiff and Vale Early Intervention in Psychosis Service.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS (continued)

Postdoc Michael Benros, PhD

Postdoc Michael E Benros, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen
Postdoc Michael E Benros, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen

Title of keynote: Infections and inflammation as possible causes of severe mental disorders – paving the way for new treatment targets

Dr. Michael E Benros, MD, PhD is a clinician and Research Leader into biological causes of mental disorders at the Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital. He got his medical degree and PhD at Aarhus University and conducted his psychiatric and neurological residencies at the Copenhagen University Hospitals. His research has focused on the possible role of inflammation in the aetiology of mental disorders, where he has taking advantage of the valuable data from the Danish nationwide registers and biobanks. He has been guided by the idea that maybe some of the mental disorders could be prevented or cured by focusing on the possible role of infection, autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory mechanisms. He is a board member of the Psychiatric Immunology Section of the World Psychiatric Association and the DANFUND research collaboration. He has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Sapere Aude Research Leader award from the Independent Research Fond Denmark. He is recognized internationally for his ongoing involvement in clinical & epidemiological research into mental health, being at the forefront of the emerging field of psychiatric immunology and has helped advancing the field through several landmark papers highlighting the association between immune-related factors and mental illness. He now leads a sizable effort – PSYCH-FLAME - to disentangle the role of Inflammation in the development of Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders. PSYCH-FLAME will combine immune exposures from the nationwide Danish registers, with immunogenetic investigations, and novel research on cerebrospinal fluid and blood obtained from biobank and clinical studies of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders also utilizing omics and systems biology approaches. These novel extensive investigations of the possible immunological contribution to the disorders aims to increase the understanding of the immune system’s role and pave the way more precise diagnostics and new treatment targets.

Professor Naomi Wray

Professor Naomi Wray, University of Queensland
Professor Naomi Wray, University of Queensland

Title of keynote (joint with Peter Visscher): Genome-phenome analyses in complex traits

Naomi Wray is an Australian National Health & Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. She holds joint Professorial positions between the Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Her research focuses on genetics of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Professor Peter Visscher

Professor Peter Visscher, University of Queensland
Professor Peter Visscher, University of Queensland

Title of keynote (joint with Naomi Wray): Genome-phenome analyses in complex traits

Peter Visscher was born in The Netherlands from Dutch and English parents. He moved to Edinburgh in 1987 for an MSc and subsequent PhD in animal breeding and genetics, working on the estimation of genetic parameters in large livestock pedigrees. A postdoctoral period in Melbourne was followed by a return to Edinburgh, where he developed methods to map genetic loci underlying complex traits. In 1995 he moved to a faculty position at the University of Edinburgh, developing gene mapping methods and software tools, with practical applications in livestock and human populations. Visscher joined the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in 2005 and in 2011 moved to the University of Queensland where he is Professor and Chair of Quantitative Genetics. Visscher is a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018. Visscher’s research interests are focused on a better understanding of genetic variation for complex traits, including quantitative traits and disease.

Professor Preben Bo Mortensen

Professor Preben Bo Mortensen, NCRR, Aarhus University
Professor Preben Bo Mortensen, NCRR, Aarhus University

Title of keynote: Schizophrenia epidemiology

Preben Bo Mortensen is an MD, and Doctor of Medical Science. Currently, he is a full Professor at Aarhus University, Head of the National Centre for Register-based Research, and Scientific Director of iPSYCH. He has devoted his career to identifying and pursuing ways of using the information stored in the Danish population-based registers to address research questions related to the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders. Over the last decades, this has been extended to include biobanked material, thereby extending to large-scale population-based genetic studies as well as studies of gene-environment interactions. He has published 592 papers in peer-reviewed journals (H-index = 84) and collaborated with researchers across the globe.

Professor Robert H Yolken

Title of keynote: The genome is bigger than you think – the role of the bacteriome, virome, mycobiome and protozome in human brain disorders

 

Dr. Yolken is the Theodore and Vada Stanley Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He chairs the Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology, the nation’s first pediatric research center designed to investigate links between early childhood infections, inflammation, and severe mental illness including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and autism.  He was Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins before organizing the Stanley Division. His research group is investigating whether these disorders can be associated with prior exposure to viral triggers such as herpesviruses and influenza viruses as well as eukaryotic organisms such as Candida albicans and Toxoplasma gondii. He is also interested in the role of the microbiome in inflammation as relating to psychiatric disorders. His research indicates that medications which modulate gastrointestinal inflammation have the potential to treat or prevent serious psychiatric disorders in some individuals.

Dr. Yolken attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and received post-doctoral training at Cornell University and the National Institutes of Health before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1979 where he has been for 39 years. He has over 500 published peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters and presentations at Scientific Meetings. He works closely with his wife, Dr. Faith Dickerson, who is Director of Psychology at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore and who runs the Stanley Clinical Research Center at that Institution. They live in Baltimore along with their two cats.

Professor Rudolf Uher

Professor Rudolf Uher, Dalhousie Unversity
Professor Rudolf Uher, Dalhousie Unversity

Title of keynote: Using what we know: Trans-diagnostic early risk identification and prevention of mental illness

Dr. Rudolf Uher is the Canada Research Chair in Early Intervention and a Professor of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University. Dr Uher studied medicine and neurosciences at Charles University in Prague and trained in Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in London, UK. In 2012, Dr Uher moved to Canada and launched the FORBOW program (www.forbow.org) with the aim to prevent mental illness.  His research is focussed on the prevention and personalized treatment of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Two clinical trials are on the way, testing pre-emptive early interventions in youth at high risk for developing these disorders. In addition, Dr Uher leads a study that aims to predict who will respond better to psychological or pharmacological treatment of major depressive disorder. Dr. Uher is an author of 200 articles on mental illness, its causes and treatment. Dr Uher is the recipient of the Max Hamilton Memorial Prize (2014) and the Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research (2016). Dr Uher treats people with depression and bipolar disorder at the Mood Disorders Program at the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Halifax.