We evaluate the effects of promising lead compounds on in vivo biomarkers and behavior in model systems relevant for patients with schizophrenia and related developmental brain disorders.

Utilizing preclinical model systems to accelerate the drug discovery process

Increased understanding of the relationship between genetic and environmental risk factors for schizophrenia and brain function and behavior in model systems will increase the efficiency of drug discovery. The wide array of symptoms associated with schizophrenia make it difficult to develop a comprehensive animal model of the syndrome. The difficulties associated with modeling schizophrenia are key factors impairing efforts to identify novel treatments.

At LIBD, we focus on modeling the cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS) and similar neurodevelopmental disorders. Cognitive impairment directly affects functional outcome in psychiatric illness and is a major unmet therapeutic need in schizophrenia. Understanding the neurobiology of cognition and the pathology of cognitive dysfunction in model systems provides opportunities for translational research leading to the development of high-quality therapeutic candidates.