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Brain Networks: Pivotal Intermediate Phenotypes Connecting Genome
and Psychiatric Disorders

Bing LIU

Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation,
the Chinese Academy of Sciences


The disruptions of brain networks measured by multimodal imaging techniques have been widely reported in psychiatric disorders. Recent twin and pedigree studies supported that the specific brain networks are under genetic control. From an imaging genetics perspective, abnormalities of brain connectivity and brain networks may be regarded as plausible neural intermediate phenotypes. They are helpful in understanding the genetic mechanisms of cognitive function or the risk for psychiatric disorders and are attracting more and more attention in recent imaging genetic studies. We have investigated the connections between schizophrenia risk genetic variants (MIR137, DISC1 and COMT) and brain networks from ROI-based analyses, specific subnetwork analyses and whole brain network analyses. In this talk, we will present whether and how specific brain networks (especially focus on default mode network and thalamic-prefrontal networks, which are vital imaging biomarkers of psychiatric disorders) are modulated by risk genes of psychiatric disorders. Integrating different scale data sets will provide the possibility of understanding the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders.

Short Bio

Dr. Bing Liu is an associate professor in Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She obtained a Ph.D. in the Institute of Automation in 2007. Since June 2007, she has worked as an assistant/associate professor in the institute. She is a member of Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS (2011) ans received the Award of Beijing Nova Program (2010). Her research interests mainly focus on imaging genetics, systems biology and brain networks in psychiatric disorders. By combining imaging and genetic techniques, her recent studies reported the connections between the genetic variations and the specific brain connectivity and brain networks.

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Last updated: December 5, 2013