The placenta: a key to schizophrenia?

Progress in understanding neuro-developmental disorders is accelerating by many measures. Even in the short time period covered by previous issues of neuroDEVELOPMENTS, the power of DNA and RNA sequencing methods has become increasingly apparent. The many bioinformatic tools employed to assemble sequence information allow us to decompose, reconstruct and project these data structures onto one another. In development—in our case, neural development—these approaches have generated a massive increase in the number of high-quality time series analyses of the genetic and cellular organization of the human brain. The elephant in the room that science has not yet addressed powerfully: We need a deeper understanding of how the genome and environment interact in human behavior. The two papers we focus on here and the comments from our board, all of which discuss the exciting finding that the placenta has something important to teach us about schizophrenia, give us a contemporary perspective on the task ahead.

-Ron McKay, PhD, Chief Editor
Lieber Institute for Brain Development

-Venkata S. Mattay, MD
Managing Editor

-Michele Solis, PhD
Science Writer

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Editorial Board

Fred ‘Rusty’ Gage, PhD
President, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Daniel Geschwind, MD, PhD
Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Elizabeth Grove, PhD
Professor, University of Chicago

Jürgen Knoblich, PhD
Interim Scientific Director, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Arnold Kriegstein, MD
Professor, UCSF

Pat Levitt, PhD
Professor, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Mu-Ming Poo, PhD
Director, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences

John Rubenstein, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF

Nenad Sestan, MD, PhD
Professor, Yale University

Flora Vaccarino, MD
Professor, Yale University

Chris Walsh, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of Genetics & Genomics, Boston Children’s Hospital

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