Unravelling gene-environment interplay in mental health


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Elise Kalokerinos


Individual differences in almost all complex traits arise from processes involving both genes (G) and the environment (E). To analyse and deepen our understanding of such GE interplay is one of the major challenges at the research frontier today. It is also an essential endeavour if we wish to identify environmental risks and protective factors that have true causal effects on complex traits and health related outcomes. In this talk, I will first briefly introduce two main types of GE interplay, i.e. GE correlation and GE interaction. Thereafter, I will provide some examples of research on mental health and related traits from my own lab and others, highlighting how we can apply methods using large-scale genetically informative data to disentangle GE interplay and strengthen causal inferences.

Speaker bio

Miriam A. Mosing is a Senior Researcher and DRM Fellow at the Melbourne School of Psychological Science, and an Associate Professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Her lab investigates (1) expertise development and (2) quality of life throughout lifetime and in the aged, using interdisciplinary approaches to quantify the interplay between genes and the environment. She is involved in a range of international consortia exploring genetic factors underlying complex traits, including the Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) consortium, The Loneliness Consortium (TLC), GENEtic research into Quality Of Life (GENEQOL), and the Musicality Genomics Consortium (MusicGenes) among others. Her research is currently funded by a NIH RO1 and a Wallenberg grant to explore gene-environment interplay underlying SES health gradients in late life and health effects of active engagement in culture.