NOV 24, 2015 8:05 AM PST

Cardiff University Brain Center Wins the Queen's Anniversary Prize

A prestigious honor given only every other year by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been awarded to Cardiff University’s MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics.  The Queen’s Anniversary Prize acknowledges the Centre for achieving outstanding “transformative insights into causes, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.” The award grew out of the 40th anniversary celebration of Her Majesty’s reign on the throne in 1992. Funds that had been raised through private donations to a charitable trust were used for that year-long program. At its conclusion, the Queen requested that Parliament use the remaining funds for awards that recognized outstanding achievement in the UK’s Higher and Further Education area. 
Cardiff University Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics
The mission of the Cardiff Center is to investigate the causes and develop treatments for a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders. The center opened in 2009 and has made a several significant contributions towards understanding and treating diseases like Alzheimer’s, AD/HD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
 
A study conducted by Professor Sir Michael Owen at Cardiff was the first to identify a genetic link between autism, intellectual disabilities and schizophrenia. His paper “Intellectual disability and major psychiatric disorders: a continuum of neurodevelopmental causality” was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in April of 2012 and is cited often as a landmark of research into the genetic links between certain brain disorders and neurological conditions.
 
In 2013 an international collaboration of scientists, jointly led by Cardiff  discovered 11 new susceptibility genes linked with Alzheimer's disease. Cardiff Professor Julie Williams was the lead the Cardiff team in that study which was groundbreaking for it’s detailed evaluation of 11 new regions of the genome responsible for the onset of Alzheimer’s. 
 
The Centre was also part of a global consortium, Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, that published a paper that uncovered schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression all share genetic risk factors related to immune function and DNA regulation. This was the first such study published that found a biological mechanism for these disorders. 
 
For example, their research has provided strong evidence that cannabis is one of the few modifiable risk factors in the prevention of schizophrenia; has led to a novel interactive programme to help sufferers of bipolar disorder manage their condition; and has effected a step change in the way homeless young people in Wales are assessed for mental health disorders.
 
In a press release from the Centre, Director Professor Sir Michael Owen said, “I am extremely proud of all the staff in the Centre for winning this award. It is a reflection of the amazing achievements made possible by an excellent team of scientific, technical and administrative staff which sits at the forefront of mental health research. Their efforts have succeeded in casting light into some of the darkest corners of mental illness and place us in strong position to make further advances that will lead to substantial benefit to patients.” 

The award will be officially presented to Cardiff University representatives and staff from the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics by Her Majesty at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February of 2016.  Take a look at the video below to see more about Cardiff University and their selection for this honor.
 
 
 
 
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
DEC 27, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
DEC 27, 2019
New Drug to Treat Migraines Approved by FDA
Over 1 in 10 people around the world- or 780 million people. Three times more common in women than in men, until now, most treatments have been preventativ...
JAN 21, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 21, 2020
Another Study Links Aluminum Exposure to Alzheimer's Disease
A new study, published earlier this week in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, supports a 40-year theory suggesting an association between human exp...
FEB 07, 2020
Neuroscience
FEB 07, 2020
Eating Fruits and Vegetables May Lower Alzheimer's Risk
New research has found that flavonols, a large class of compounds present in many fruits and vegetables, may be linked to a lower risk of developing Alzhei...
FEB 10, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
FEB 10, 2020
Lighting a Path to an Alzheimer's Disease Treatment
Alzheimer's impacts millions of people around the world; globally, it is thought to cost $605 billion a year, and there is still no way to treat it....
MAR 07, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 07, 2020
Single Trip on Magic Mushrooms Boosts Mindfulness
According to new research, a single trip from magic mushrooms is enough for people to experience long-term increases in mindfulness and openness. Mindfulne...
MAR 04, 2020
Neuroscience
MAR 04, 2020
Memories Are Stored As Specific Neural Firing Patterns
Scientists working on the EPFL Blue Brain Project explain the algebraic patterns of neuron activity.  Scientists at the National Institute of Health&r...
Loading Comments...