NSW Chair of Schizophrenia Research, based at NeuRA and UNSW
Professor, School of Psychiatry, UNSW
Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, Upstate Medical University, New York
+612 9399 1717
Cyndi’s research is focused on the molecular developmental neurobiology of schizophrenia. She earned a PhD in Biomedical Science at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Mental Health rising to the level of Unit Chief of Molecules in the Neurobiology and Development of Schizophrenia Unit. Her awards include the Eli Lilly Young Investigator Award, NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, Independent Investigator Award and two Young Investigator Awards from NARSD. She has lectured throughout the world and contributed to over 150 publications.
In one of the biggest breakthroughs in schizophrenia research in recent times, Professor Cynthia Shannon Weickert’s research team have identified immune cells in greater amounts in the brains of some people with schizophrenia. The study published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry has the potential to transform global schizophrenia research and open new avenues for developing targeted immune cell therapies.
Studying the molecular basis of raloxifene (a SERM) modulation of dopamine signalling in schizophrenia, which uses a maternal immune activation rodent model of schizophrenia to better understand how raloxifene brings about its effects.
Together with Professor Peter Schofield (NeuRA) and Professor Philip Mitchell (Black Dog Institute), our group is investigating the genetic contributors to bipolar disorder using Australian families with multiple individuals who have been diagnosed with the disorder.
The group previously identified a bipolar susceptibility locus located on chromosome 15 in a pooled analysis of 35 families. More detailed analysis of this region has identified a single gene, which confers an increased susceptibility to both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and has also been implicated as a risk factor for autism.
The group is now aiming to understand how alterations in ST8SIA2 translate into an increased genetic susceptibility by characterising alterations in the DNA, RNA and protein product of this gene and its interaction partners in patients with either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
DEBORA ROTHMOND Senior Research Assistant
DANNY BOERRIGTER Research assistant
: 9399 1846