Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert

TEAM LEADER PROFILE

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.

Projects Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Schizophrenia Research Breakthrough

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.

For more information on the research breakthrough click here

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Schizophrenia Research Breakthrough

Raloxifene treatment in Maternal Immune Activation model of Schizophrenia

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.

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Raloxifene treatment in Maternal Immune Activation model of Schizophrenia

Identification and characterisation of ST8SIA2: a generalised mental illness susceptibility gene

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.

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Identification and characterisation of ST8SIA2: a generalised mental illness susceptibility gene

Neuregulin Dependent Neuronal Migration and Schizophrenia

The path to developing therapies to prevent schizophrenia involves research on how risk genes influence brain development and structure.

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Neuregulin Dependent Neuronal Migration and Schizophrenia

Enhancing Neurogenesis in Adult Primate Brain

Since brain disease often involves neuronal death, research into strategies to restore neuronal numbers could lead to improved function and recovery in patients.

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Enhancing Neurogenesis in Adult Primate Brain

RESEARCH TEAM

PUBLICATIONS

Considerations for optimal use of postmortem human brains for molecular psychiatry: lessons from schizophrenia.

Weickert CS, Rothmond DA, Purves-Tyson TD

Reproductive hormones and schizophrenia.

Allen KM, Purves-Tyson TD, Shannon Weickert C

Adolescent testosterone influences BDNF and TrkB mRNA and neurotrophin-interneuron marker relationships in mammalian frontal cortex.

Purves-Tyson TD, Allen K, Fung S, Rothmond D, Noble PL, Handelsman DJ, Shannon Weickert C
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