Professor Michael O'Donovan
Professor, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences
Genetic variation makes important contributions to the aetiology of all major psychiatric disorders. Recent advances in molecular genetic technology offer unprecedented opportunities to identify specific risk genes for these disorders, and to use these findings as the basis for understanding the molecular basis of these hitherto enigmatic disorders. I am interested in identifying genes that contribute to susceptibility to a wide range of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease, and exploiting the findings to understanding the pathophysiological processes by which susceptibility is conferred.
- Professor of Psychiatric Genetics, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, UK
- Senior Lecturer in Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, Wales; (Sept 1993-April 1999)
- Medical Research Council Travelling Fellow, Centre for Cancer Research, Building E17/536, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge 02139-4307, USA; (September 1992 - August 1993)
- Medical Research Council Training Fellow, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, Wales; (September 1989 - August 1992)
- Lecturer in Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, Wales; (March 1988 - August 1989).
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After obtaining my undergraduate qualifications in Physiology (BSc) and Medicine (MBChB) at the University of Glasgow, I specialized in psychiatry. I began my research career in 1989 as an MRC Training Fellow when I developed novel methods for quantitating mRNA, used these to show alterations in the relative expression of genes encoding subunits of GABAA receptors was a mechanism that contributes the biology of benzodiazepine tolerance, and obtained a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology.
1992-1993, I was an MRC Travelling Fellow at the laboratory of David Housman at MIT where I was a member of The Huntington's Disease Collaborative Research Group.
In 1993, I was appointed Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, and was awarded a personal chair in Psychiatric Genetics in 1999. I have a broad interest in the molecular genetics and neurobiology of mental disorders and have held grants from many major funding bodies (MRC, Wellcome Trust, National Institute of Mental Health (USA), European Union) for molecular genetic studies of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dyslexia, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease. I am currently the Chair of the Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.