#65 – Genes and Mental Health

In this episode of Future of Mental Health, Marjorie Morrison is joined by Dr. Steven Hyman, MD. Dr. Hyman is a mental health and genetics expert. He is leading research into how our genes might be the key to unlocking what mental health challenges people are predisposed to.

“Many forms of mental illness share risk genes. So between bipolar and schizophrenia, there’s about 65 to 70 percent sharing of risk genes” – Dr. Steven E. Hyman

Dr. Hyman and Marjorie discuss the biology of the brain and how new research is exploring what different mental health diseases look like on a cellular level. Dr. Hyman also shares his hopes that this research will destigmatize mental health issues and give a visual representation of these issues.

Dr. Hyman is a Distinguished Service Professor and Harald McPike Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Hyman is also a Core Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he directs the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research.

From 2001 to 2011, Dr. Hyman served as Provost (chief academic officer) of Harvard University, and from 1996 to 2001, as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a component of the US National Institutes of Health. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Charles A. Dana Foundation (NY).
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