New funding for precision medicine platform to improve targeted treatments for schizophrenia

Nov 22 2022

Professor Murray Cairns from HMRI and the University of Newcastle has been awarded $1 million in funding from the NSW Government to explore genetically informed precision medicine for schizophrenia using human cerebral organoids.

This project will use a precision medicine platform to find improved targeted treatments for schizophrenia and help people living with the condition live healthier and more productive lives.

Schizophrenia affects around 81,000 people in NSW. It is an illness that is very difficult to treat and presents a tremendous burden to many individuals as well as our healthcare system.

The treatment of schizophrenia has not significantly improved over the last 60 years. Most drugs for the disorder target the psychotic symptoms rather than the underlying cause.

Recent genetic studies have led to a substantially better understanding of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. However, these insights have not yet led to new treatments. The main barrier to implementing this information is the tremendous number of genetic variables and the high degree of variation between individuals.

Professor Cairns and his team's revolutionary method breaks this barrier by matching patients with treatments using their unique, genetic information. This approach could pave the way to transformative treatment of schizophrenia.

This funding for this project is part of the NSW Government's four-year $4 million investment to support schizophrenia research.

Read the NSW Government's full media release