Scientists win international prize for schizophrenia research
2 May 2013
Following their success in having been awarded the Lieber Prize last year, two Cardiff University scientists recently headed to the US to collect a major international prize for Schizophrenia research.
The William K Warren Distinguished Research Award has been bestowed to Professors Mike Owen and Mike O'Donovan from the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University's School of Medicine.
They collected the prize at the Orlando-based International Congress of Schizophrenia Research, in recognition of their work on the genetics underpinning the disorder.
Having received the prize, Professor Owen said: "I'm delighted that the two of us have received this award and are recognised in this way by our peers; it's a great honour.
"We have benefited from the support of an outstanding team of colleagues who have worked with us on a day-to-day basis for over 20 years, and from the continued support of Cardiff University and the MRC."
Professor O'Donovan said: "The development of new treatments for schizophrenia will depend on us gaining a better understanding of disease mechanisms.
"Genetic discoveries like those we are making offer a new starting point for this work. This prize recognises what we have achieved so far and encourages us to continue to gain new understanding of this important condition."
Professor Owen heads Cardiff University's flagship MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute. Professor O'Donovan is Deputy Director of the MRC Centre. They have collaborated together on the genetics of schizophrenia for over 20 years.
Their work combines molecular genetic approaches and sequencing to identify specific genetic variants that help explain a person's risk of schizophrenia.
Their research has helped identify the first robustly supported susceptibility genes for Schizophrenia and has identified likely disease mechanisms. In addition to their academic research, both Professors Owen and O'Donovan work as Consultant Psychiatrists.