Education Day: Monday, October 11, 2021


2021 WCPG Education Day
This is a special day for members and guests of ISPG to focus on a broad introduction to psychiatric genetics.  This day is specially organized to provide LIVE sessions across three different time zones.  This Primer day is a great opportunity for the ISPG global community to learn or refresh knowledge about psychiatric genetics.
NOTE:  This program is included in the 2021 WCPG registration fees.
A special registration fee is available for Education Day only.
Please visit the Registration Page for more details.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM ET US
followed by a 10:15 AM – 10:45 AM Q&A with Danielle Posthuma

Introduction to GWAS, Danielle Posthuma
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) test hundreds of thousands of genetic variants across many genomes to find those statistically associated with a specific trait or disease. This methodology has generated a myriad of robust associations for a range of traits and diseases and the number of associated variants is expected to grow steadily as GWAS sample sizes increase. GWAS results have a range of applications, such as gaining insight into a phenotype’s underlying biology, estimating its heritability, calculating genetic correlations, making clinical risk predictions, informing drug development programs and inferring potential causal relationships between risk factors and health outcomes. In this educational session, we provide an introduction to GWAS, explaining their statistical basis and how they are conducted, describe state-of-the art approaches and discuss limitations and challenges, concluding with an overview of the current and future applications for GWAS results.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM ET US
followed by a 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM Q&A with Patrick Sullivan

PGC:  Aims & Intentions,
Patrick Sullivan

Now in its 13th year, the PGC is perhaps the most innovative and productive experiment in the history of psychiatry. The PGC unified the field and attracted a cadre of outstanding scientists (802 investigators from 157 institutions in 41 countries). In almost 400 papers, PGC work has led to identification of ~500 genetic loci in the 11 psychiatric disorders we study. To advance discovery and impact, we propose 5 new aims. Aim 1: continue to advance genetic discovery for severe psychiatric disorders in all working groups, and aggressively promote new studies of individuals with psychiatric disorders from diverse ancestries. Aim 2: continue to elucidate rare variant effects. Aim 3: move beyond classical case-control definitions to a more biologically-based and nuanced understanding by enabling large trans-diagnostic studies. Aim 4: maximize the impact of our work via translational efforts. Aim 5: we will increase impact of our work by extending and formalizing outreach to different communities (including pharma and biotech), via digital media, and by developing, distributing, and updating resources/educational material for patients, families, and medical professionals. We will convene a Scientific Advisory Board to ensure we respond positively to those invested in our results. Successful completion of this body of work will greatly advance knowledge of the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders with potentially major nosological and treatment implications. These goals are consistent with a core mission of the NIMH, and the central idea of the PGC: to convert the family history risk factor into biologically, clinically, and therapeutically meaningful insights.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET US
followed by a 6:15 PM – 6:45 PM Q&A with Naomi Wray

Basic Concepts in Psychiatric Genetics, Naomi Wray
This session will provide intuitive understanding of the links between risk in relatives and heritability, between heritability and SNP-based heritability, and between genetic risk and polygenic risk scores. I plan to also cover the relationship between cross-disorder risks and genetic correlations. Useful prior reading would be Baselmans et al (2020) “Risk in Relatives, Heritability, SNP-Based Heritability, and Genetic Correlations in Psychiatric Disorders: A Review” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.05.034

For full schedule of 2021 WCPG, CLICK HERE