Searching for schizophrenia genes: what can we learn from Mendelian disorders?

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About Searching for schizophrenia genes: what can we learn from Mendelian disorders?



6 months, date of starting in consultation with the student


Department of Psychiatry, pediatrics, and bioinformatics in the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam.


Prof. Dr. Eske Derks (Professor of Genetics in Psychiatry); Prof. Dr. R.H. Hennekam pediatrician - clinical geneticist; Drs. Sven Stringer (PhD-student)


Mendelian disorders are caused by a genetic mutation in a single gene. Despite the rarity of these disorders, it is relatively easy to find the genetic mutation. Psychiatric disorders (e.g., schizophrenia) are heritable. However, since many genetic variants are involved, it is much more difficult to find the genetic variants and to understand the functional role of these variants. Because of the relatively high frequency of complex traits, these disorders cause a major burden for society.

Project description:

The aim of this project is to investigate the specific characteristics of genetic mutations which play a role in Mendelian disorders and complex genetic disorders. What are the similarities and what are the differences? Can we use the Mendelian disorders and translate the findings to complex disorders? For this project several datasets are available and data available in public databases will also be used.


We are looking for a master student of bioinformatics, who is innovative and able to work independently. When the students’ assignments will be of high quality, the student might be included as a co-author.


Eske Derks