The Pathfinder grant harnesses the power of data science to improve early interventions and treatment in mental health.
A substantial part of recent progress understanding the genetic basis of many psychiatric disorders has been due to large scale data sharing. These advances offer great opportunities for improving stratification and treatment responses in mental disorders.
There is a need to extend this large scale data driven approach forward by integrating genetic information with clinical, environmental, developmental and biological data at scale in mental health to transform the management of psychiatric disorders. The Pathfinder grant aims to build a platform that will enable the extension of collaborative efforts required.
The project takes several approaches, firstly linking more than 15,000 biological samples donated to Cardiff University's MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and the National Centre for Mental Health and linking them to electronic health records. In addition to the patient cohorts, the project will develop a school based adolescent cohort for identifying the antecedents of early onset psychiatric disorder. Linking research participants' genetic and interview data with their health records will help lead to understanding the nature of mental health conditions and ultimately lead to improved diagnoses and treatment.
The project is funded by the Medical Research Council as part of the UK government's National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).