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A Symposium of “Endophenotype strategy for psychotic disorders” was organized by the Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences”
Update time: 2010/10/19
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“Endophenotype strategy for psychotic disorders and summit meeting of Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, CAS” was held in Beijing during Oct. 11-13th, 2010, which was co-organized by the Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology and Neuropsychological and Applied Neuroscience Lab (NACN). The symposium was chaired by Dr. Raymond Chan, the deputy director of the Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology. A group of internationally renowned scholars and clinicians were invited, including Prof. David Glahn from Yale Medical School, Prof. Bill Honer from University of British Columbia, Prof. Pak Sham from the University of Hong Kong, Prof. Bill Stone from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Paola Dazzan from Institute of Psychiatry (London), Dr. Grainne McAlonan from the University of Hong Kong, Dr. Xaolu Hsi from Boston, and Dr. Eric Cheung from Hong Kong as well as our local scholars and peer colleagues. The symposium was supported by a fund from the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2007CB512302).

The main purpose of this symposium is to outline the future research and clinical direction for the coming decade in mental health. In particular, it focused on the concept of endophenotype for enabling us to understand more about the mental health issues. Endophenotype is the concept first proposed by Prof. Irving Gottesman who has been recognized to be the founder of endophenotype research for mental illness and psychotic disorders. Endophenotype is a biomarker associating with genetic components as well as the clinical symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders. It plays an important role to bridge the gap between microscopic level (e.g., molecular genetics) and macroscopic level (e.g., clinical symptoms) of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. The identification of endophenotype is very crucial to the identification of genes that predispose someone to neurospychiatric disorders. Therefore, the study of endophenotype is of particular useful for us to understand the underlying mechanism of the illness process of neuropsychiatric disorders, aiding the clinicians to make accurate diagnosis and for early detection purposes etc.

The symposium was commenced by the welcoming speech by Prof. Xiaolan Fu, director of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, followed by a video-lecture by Prof. Irving Gottesman. Although Prof. Gottesman was unfortunately unable to attend the symposium because of health problem, he was very eager and motivated to share with his expertise with the audience by lecturing us via the technological support. All the invited speakers then made wonderful presentations on their most recent work on endophenotypes for neuropsychiatric disorders and shared their viewpoints on applying endophenotype strategy for neuropsychiatric disorders in mainland China. Our local speakers also presented the basic science and clinical research in mainland China, including Prof. Xin Yu from Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, Dr. Shuping Tan from Huilongguan Hospital, Dr. Kunlin Zhang (on behalf of Prof. Jing Wang) and Dr. Raymond Chan from the Institute of Psychology.

After the forum, all invited speakers paid a visit to the local psychiatric hospital and discussed with the clinical collaborators. They were impressed by the rapid development of research in neuropsychiatric disorders, schizophrenia research in particular, in mainland China. They also discussed the potential collaborative work with the Key Laboratory of Mental Health of the Institute of Psychology, and acknowledged the need to set up a stronger network with the local clinical settings. Moreover, they agreed to work on the idea of developing a databank and consortium of endophenotypes for neuropsychiatric disorders in the near future. They also agreed this was a very successful symposium and it was the commencement of the collaboration among the speakers. A stronger link should be reinforced and facilitated among the speakers of the symposium in the near future.

The welcome speech delivered by Prof. Xiaolan Fu, Director of
the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

A group photo for all the speakers of the symposium (from left to right):
Dr. Shuping Tan, Dr. Eric Cheung, Prof. Xin Yu, Prof. Bill Stone,
Prof. David Glahn, Prof. Xiaolan Fu, Prof. Raymond Chan,
Prof. Pak Sham, Dr. Paola Dazzan, Dr. Grainne McAlonan,
Dr. Xiaolu Hsi, Prof. Bill Honer.

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