The Lieber Institute aims to develop novel strategies for optimizing treatment of mental illnesses, based on genetic variation in drug metabolism, transport, and the neural systems targeted by current and future drugs.
Precision medicine: the future of clinical pharmacology
We are combining the power of genetics and neuroimaging to identify and validate novel drug targets and to test potential novel and repurposed drugs. At a population level, we are evaluating potential drug targets by measuring the effect of genetic variation associated with risk for schizophrenia and related illnesses on brain activity, measured by functional MRI. At an individual level, we use fMRI as a biomarker to measure the effects of candidate drugs on brain activity and evaluate differences in response based on individual genotype.
A related effort is to develop new therapeutic treatment protocols to more precisely select and dose psychiatric medications to an individual patient or subgroups of patients. By accounting for differences between patients, such as sex, age, weight, and genetics, we can better predict which drug and what dose will be optimal to treat individual patients.