Monsheel Sodhi, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Chicago
Young Investigator Grant (2008): $72,250
Mentor: Joel Kleinman, M.D., Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health
The Impact of RNA Editing on Suicide Risk
Abstract: This postmortem study aims to enhance understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie suicide by examining the role of specific variations in 5-HT 2C gene expression, which result from RNA editing and which previous studies have associated with suicide. In order to determine whether certain variations are specific to particular diagnostic groups, the study will compare prefrontal cortex tissue of a large sample of subjects with various psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression) to tissue from normal controls. Since over a third of the subjects with psychiatric disorders died by suicide, it will also be possible to compare tissue of subjects who died by suicide with those who died from other causes. The investigators anticipate that better understanding of the dysfunctional neurochemistry associated with suicide across diagnostic groups will lead to improved techniques for identifying and treating underlying problems that can lead to suicide.