The IOPPN hosts one of the world’s largest groups conducting research on psychosis. Our work is focused on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying psychosis, particularly those related to the onset of psychotic disorders. We have particular strengths in neuroimaging, -omic, cognitive, and psychopharmacological studies in the early phases of psychosis. These often involve people who are at ‘ultra high risk’ for psychosis (but have not yet developed a psychotic disorder), and patients with first episode psychosis (who have just become psychotic for the first time). Research in this field is facilitated by an international network of early detection and intervention centres that provides a unique platform for recruiting and following up these subjects. We also have excellent partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry and with SMEs with expertise in developing clinical tools. Our findings in clinical subjects are broadly consistent with data from animal models of psychosis, and we are very keen on work that integrates human and basic science research in this field.
The long term ambition is to use our research findings to provide a scientific rationale for the development of: a) tools that use biomarkers to predict key clinical outcomes, such as the onset of psychosis, or the response to treatment in psychosis; and b) new forms of treatment that can be used to prevent the onset of psychosis and to improve outcomes in patients who have a psychotic disorder.