A study published in last month’s Nature Genetics confirms the discovery by a team of UCI researchers of the genetic origin of schizophrenia. In 2010, a group of computer science, genetics, and developmental & cell biology researchers led by Dr. Steven Potkin reported that the severe mental disorder may be a result of dysregulation in the gene microRNA 137. The recent publication by the International Schizophrenia Consortium – comprising nearly 200 investigators – verified the UCI discovery in two independent, genome-wide mega-analyses with combined samples of 51,695 individuals. “The confirmation of this new mechanism for schizophrenia opens up new treatment avenues … and brings new hope to patients and their families,” said Potkin (pictured), who holds the Robert R. Sprague chair and directs the UCI Brain Imaging Center. “Moreover, it validates the strategy of combining brain imaging methods and gene discovery methods in the search for genes that cause neuropsychiatric illness. These methods were developed in large part by UCI’s translational team.”