Psychiatric Genomics: Translating Research Finding to Clinical Use

Mental disorders such as schizophrenia and affective disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) have a strong genetic component. Recent breakthroughs in genetic research have provided unprecedented insights into biological underpinnings of the vulnerability for the disorders.

The pan-European Network EnGagE (Enhancing Psychiatric Genetic Counselling, Testing and Training in Europe) aims at translating these new findings into clinical care. The Network has brought together a broad range of professional disciplines including fundamental neuroscientists, ethicists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors and patient representatives. EnGagE includes representatives from 34 European countries, The United States of America, Australia, and Canada. This large collaborative effort focuses on enhancing genetic counselling, testing and training relevant to psychiatric genomics. Since the start of the Network in 2018, several successful meetings were held: Poznan (Poland), Paris (France), and Oxford (United Kingdom).

The 2020 EnGagE workshop will continue on this successful path of discussing, developing and disseminating important and timely topics in psychiatric genetics. It will be hosted at the House of the Province where the European Treaty of Maastricht was signed in 1992.

The target audience of the workshop are EnGagE members and non-members who are interested relevant developments in psychiatric genetics and their clinical applications. Clinicians and researchers from all academic career stages as well as members of the general public are welcome. The workshop will provide an overview on the current state-of-the-art of genetic counselling and genetic testing offered to patients and family members with a neurodevelopmental disorder (such as intellectual disability), genetic syndromes relevant for psychiatry. Furthermore, it will address the use of polygenic risk scores in research and clinical practice, pharmacogenomics as well as current and future technological and conceptual developments in psychiatric genomics. The full 2-day programme will be closed with a tour of a local, high-end genomic facilities. The day after the workshop, the members of EnGagE’s Management Committee will meet and discuss the next steps of the Network (invitation only).

We cordially invite you to attend and participate in the 2020 EnGagE workshop held in Maastricht. We are looking forward to a successful, lively, pan-European meeting full of opportunities for collaboration and interesting discussions.

Yours Sincerely, Local Organisers:
Bart Rutten, Thérèse van Amelsvoort, Roos van Westrhenen, Roberto Bakker, Connie Stumpel, Han Brunner and David Linden

Local Support team:
Jolien Nivelle, Marie-Thérèse Moers