Lister Fellow Professor Daniel Smith Publishes New Paper in Nature Neuroscience

Lister Fellow Professor Daniel Smith has recently published a new paper in Nature Neuroscience that has discovered genetic variants that may contribute to risk of depression.

Depression is a serious mental condition that is cited by the Mental Health Foundation as the predominant mental health problem in the world. It is also named as one of the leading causes of multiple serious effects on a person’s welfare, including disturbed sleep and appetite, poor concentration and low energy levels.

As part of a multi-disciplinary collaboration led by Dr. David Howard and Professor Andrew McIntosh at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Smith helped to define depression cases within the UK Biobank cohort and meta-analyse data on 807,553 individuals from several large genome-wide association studies.

A total of 102 independent variants, 269 genes, and 15 gene-sets were found to be associated with depression. Many of the pathways identified were involved with synaptic structure and neurotransmission, and enrichment analysis highlighted the importance of prefrontal brain regions.

The paper, entitled Genome-wide meta-analysis of depression identifies 102 independent variants and highlights the importance of the prefrontal brain regions was published in Nature Neuroscience in January 2019.

Professor Smith is a Professor of Psychiatry  at the Institute of Health & Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh.

We are very pleased to help contribute to Professor Smith’s important research work and looking forward to hearing more about his work in the future.