Skip to content

What is Behind the Neuropsychiatric Genetics of African Populations-Psychosis Project?

Research on the genetic basis of mental illness has so far largely excluded populations that are not of European heritage. That means that people of African descent, might not benefit from the new biological insights into mental illness. To help remedy this problem in psychiatric research, researchers from the United States and four countries in Africa are working together to study the genetics of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They are drawn from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of MIT in the US, Moi University and KEMRI-Wellcome Trust in Kenya, Makerere University in Uganda and Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Rounding out southern Africa is the team from the University of Cape Town. The initiative aims to do something that has never been done on this scale before: recruit 35,000 people in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda to answer questions about their health, lifestyle and mental illness, and donate two teaspoons of saliva for DNA testing.