Schizophrenia is a disabling psychiatric disorder with enormous personal, societal and economic cost. Despite its strong genetic component, the underlying genetic architecture of schizophrenia remains largely unknown.

The Western Australian Family Study of Schizophrenia (WAFSS) has been run by the Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry (CCRN) under the direction of Professor Assen Jablensky for more than 20 years. The WAFSS includes data from more than 100 families with diagnoses of schizophrenia.

A collaboration between GOHaD and CCRN has been formed and comprehensive genetic data for the WAFSS participants now exists. We are using this sequence data to analyse rare genomic variants likely to contribute to schizophrenia risk in these families. We are also interested in using genetic subtypes of schizophrenia, known as ‘endophenotypes’, to improve our genetic analyses.

This project is a collaborative effort between GOHaD, the Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry (CCRN), UWA and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).


Selected publications

  • Glahn, D. C., V. L. Nimgaonkar, H. Raventós, J. Contreras, A. M. McIntosh, A. Jablensky, N. S. McCarthy, N. B. Blackburn, J. M. Peralta, S. A. Ament, F. J. McMahon, M. Bucan, J. E. Curran, L. Almasy, R. E. Gur and J. Blangero (2018). "Rediscovering the Value of Families for Psychiatric Genetics Research." Mol Psychiatry: in press.
  • Khan, F. F., P. E. Melton, N. S. McCarthy, B. Morar, J. Blangero, E. K. Moses and A. Jablensky (2018). "Whole Genome Sequencing of 91 Multiplex Schizophrenia Families Reveals Increased Burden of Rare, Exonic Copy Number Variation in Schizophrenia Probands and Genetic Heterogeneity." Schizophrenia Research: epub. [pubmed]
  • McCarthy, N. S., J. C. Badcock, M. L. Clark, E. E. M. Knowles, G. Cadby, P. E. Melton, V. A. Morgan, J. Blangero, E. K. Moses, D. C. Glahn and A. Jablensky (2017). "Assessment of Cognition and Personality as Potential Endophenotypes in the Western Australian Family Study of Schizophrenia." Schizophrenia Bulletin: epub. [pubmed]
  • McCarthy, N. S., P. E. Melton, S. V. Ward, S. M. Allan, M. Dragovic, M. L. Clark, B. Morar, J. P. Rubio, J. Blangero, J. C. Badcock, V. A. Morgan, E. K. Moses and A. Jablensky (2016). “Exome array analysis suggests an increased variant burden in families with schizophrenia.” Schizophrenia Research 185: 9-16.  [pubmed]