Post-GWAS in Psychiatric Genetics: A Developmental Perspective on the “Other” Next Steps

Danielle M. Dick, Peter B. Barr, Seung Bin Cho, Megan E. Cooke, Sally I.Chun Kuo, Tenesha J. Lewis, Zoe Neale, Jessica E. Salvatore, Jeanne Savage, Jinni Su

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


As psychiatric genetics enters an era where gene identification is finally yielding robust, replicable genetic associations and polygenic risk scores, it is important to consider next steps and delineate how that knowledge will be applied to ultimately ameliorate suffering associated with substance use and psychiatric disorders. Much of the post-genome-wide association study discussion has focused on the potential of genetic information to elucidate the underlying biology and use this information for the development of more effective pharmaceutical treatments. In this review we focus on additional areas of research that should follow gene identification. By taking genetic findings into longitudinal, developmental studies, we can map the pathways by which genetic risk manifests across development, elucidating the early behavioral manifestations of risk, and studying how various environments and interventions moderate that risk across developmental stages. The delineation of risk across development will advance our understanding of mechanism, sex differences and risk and resilience processes in different racial/ethnic groups. Here, we review how the extant twin study literature can be used to guide these efforts. Together, these new lines of research will enable us to develop more informed, tailored prevention and intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12447
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • GWAS
  • behavior genetics
  • gene-environment interaction
  • genetics
  • intervention
  • pathways of risk
  • prevention
  • twin studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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