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Welsh Government highlights Cardiff University's mental health research and international ties

8 October 2021

researcher working in lab wearing a mask and holding a pipette
The division is home to a very broad range of research into mental health
For World Mental Health Day 2021, Welsh Government has featured Cardiff University and the central role it has taken in the global effort to understand the causes of mental health problems.

A brief interview with Professor Jeremy Hall, Director of the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, explains how far the division's research has come and the part it has played on the global stage.

Professor Jeremy Hall explains, "Our collaborations in Wales, the UK and beyond enable us to access much larger data sets, much better overall approaches to analysis, and from these yield some really significant findings.

Professor Hall explains, "Here in the department in Cardiff, we have a very broad range of research into mental health, which spans studies of genetics and biology through to understanding how mental ill-health affects people in the population and in the communities we live in.

Cardiff's collaborations across Europe, North America and China enabled the discovery of the first common genetic risk factors for ADHD.

And more recently, Cardiff University joined a new consortium that will study rare genetic disorders caused by small changes in a person’s genetic make-up, which are a major cause of developmental and psychiatric conditions. It includes researchers from 14 institutions and seven countries from North America, Europe, and Africa.

Working in this way with our international colleagues has enabled us to uncover the genetic changes that are associated with risk for conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Professor Jeremy Hall Director of Division of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, Director of Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, Hon. Consultant Psychiatrist.

Global leaders in mental health research

Professor Patrick Sullivan is the Director of the Center for Psychiatric Genetics at the University of North Carolina and a co-member of the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium alongside Cardiff.

Professor Sullivan commented, "Psychiatric genomics is dominated by team science, global teams working together to solve critical problems beyond any one group.

"Since the 1990s, Cardiff has been the leader in the field, including Europe, US, East Asia, etc. Scientifically, Cardiff University has been central to basically all major discoveries and landmark papers in the field. For leadership, Cardiff researchers have been the greatest single source of elected leaders of ISPG, and many have received the highest awards in our field.

"Cardiff contributions have been exceptional in their intelligence, energy, creativity, and rigour. Unlike many other groups after a bit of fame or a big paper, my colleagues in Cardiff are driven by a single passionate goal: intense dedication to improving the lives of patients by following the family history clue."

Watch the video

Watch the video featuring the work of the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences

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