Epigenetic plasticity in suicidal behaviors and the vulnerability to social stress
2020 Young Investigator Grant
Amount Awarded: $90,000
Focus Areas: Genetic Studies, Neurobiological Studies
Pierre-Eric Lutz, M.D., Ph.D.
Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences (France)
Mentor: Gustavo Turecki, M.D., Ph.D., McGill University (Canada)
Inside the Research
Biological responses to social interactions inform the mechanisms through which negative social experiences increase an individual’s risk for suicide. Epigenetics, which are molecular processes that control the functioning of genes in response to life experiences, are proposed to play a role in the biological mechanisms which contribute to suicidal behaviors. This investigation of changes in genetic functioning in the brain and blood, and their relationship with stress, shows promise for providing greater understanding of suicide risk.