Pitt, Pfizer team up on health data analytics

November 16, 2016

PITTSBURGH--The University of Pittsburgh and biopharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. have announced a partnership to develop a computational model that will help identify the drivers of schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and related brain diseases and enable researchers to better understand and treat the diseases.

Kayhan Batmanghelich, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Pitt's School of Medicine, will be the principal investigator in the one-year study. The goal of the study is to develop a statistical model that relates abnormal anatomical variations of brain structure to the underlying genetic markers of the diseases in order to develop an algorithm that explains causal relationships between such heterogeneous data, and to be able to use the method in similar settings for precision medicine.

In addition to the genotype data, measurements from magnetic resonance brain images will be used to characterize abnormal brain variations.

"By studying brain images and relating the variations of each brain region to the genetics and clinical observations of patients, we provide deeper insight about the underlying biology of the diseases," said Batmanghelich.

The study will use the publicly available datasets of ADNI (Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) and private datasets of the GENUS (Genetics of Endophenotypes of Neurofunction to Understand Schizophrenia) Consortium, both of which contain images, genetic information, biological information, and clinical observations of patients, to develop software that can be used to associate the images with gene patterns.

"The exciting thing about this type of translational research with Pfizer is that it expands the research impact of what we do at Pitt, inclusively involves participation across our campus, and meets the core missions of both our University and industry partner," said Donald Taylor, assistant vice chancellor for commercial translation in the health sciences at Pitt. "Discovering the relationship between the disease status and the results of imaging and genetic positions to search for undiscovered variables in images and DNA also leverages our core commercial translation themes in precision medicine, brain health, and digital health. We wouldn't be able to do this specific research without an industry partner, and we're thrilled to have Pfizer's collaboration."
-end-


University of Pittsburgh

Related Schizophrenia Articles from Brightsurf:

Schizophrenia: When the thalamus misleads the ear
Scientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Synapsy National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) have succeeded in linking the onset of auditory hallucinations - one of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia - with the abnormal development of certain substructures of a region deep in the brain called the thalamus.

Unlocking schizophrenia
New research, led by Prof. LIU Bing and Prof. JIANG Tianzi from the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators have recently developed a novel imaging marker that may help in the personalized medicine of psychiatric disorders.

Researchers discover second type of schizophrenia
In a study of more than 300 patients from three continents, over one third had brains that looked similar to healthy people.

New clues into the genetic origins of schizophrenia
The first genetic analysis of schizophrenia in an ancestral African population, the South African Xhosa, appears in the Jan.

Dietary supplement may help with schizophrenia
A dietary supplement, sarcosine, may help with schizophrenia as part of a holistic approach complementing antipsychotic medication, according to a UCL researcher.

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer
Schizophrenia may be related to the deletion syndrome. However, not everyone who has the syndrome necessarily develops psychotic symptoms.

Study suggests overdiagnosis of schizophrenia
In a small study of patients referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic (EPIC), Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that about half the people referred to the clinic with a schizophrenia diagnosis didn't actually have schizophrenia.

The ways of wisdom in schizophrenia
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine report that persons with schizophrenia scored lower on a wisdom assessment than non-psychiatric comparison participants, but that there was considerable variability in levels of wisdom, and those with higher scores displayed fewer psychotic symptoms.

Recognizing the uniqueness of different individuals with schizophrenia
Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia differ greatly from one another. Researchers from Radboud university medical center, along with colleagues from England and Norway, have demonstrated that very few identical brain differences are shared amongst different patients.

Resynchronizing neurons to erase schizophrenia
Today, a decisive step in understanding schizophrenia has been taken.

Read More: Schizophrenia News and Schizophrenia Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.