Photo of smiling female undergraduate student Madeleine Salem.
2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: undeclared
Mentor: Laramie Duncan (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

“A Statistical Analysis of the Genetic Architecture Underlying Psychiatric Disorders”

Many genetic risk factors for mental health conditions like schizophrenia and depression have been identified in the last five years. The current challenge is to uncover their biological meaning. Madeleine’s project is to computationally develop a pipeline for improved analysis of genetic sequences associated with certain mental illnesses. This project involves foundational statistical analysis methods including genome wide association studies (GWAS), polygenic scoring, and MAGMA pathway analyses. Through investigating the genetic architecture of schizophrenia and depression, Madeleine’s work will aid in making novel discoveries about biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders and how these mechanisms influence the onset of psychiatric disorders.