Welcome to the Giusti-Rodriguez Lab
Who are we and what do we do?
Established in 2021, we are a research team with interests spanning neuroscience, genetics, and genomics. Our lab aims to integrate tools and techniques across these fields to better understand the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders, particularly within latinx communities. Our drive is based on helping in the contribution to the development of more targeted therapies for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
A huge dilemma has emerged from the wealth of genetic data being generated by consortia such as the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) is an international consortium of scientists dedicated to conducting meta- and mega-analyses of genomic-wide genetic data, with a focus on psychiatric disorders. Large scale genetics studies such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS), copy number variants (CNVs), and whole exome studies (WES) have demonstrated that most psychiatric disorders have a complex genetic architecture, with many genes contributing to their genetic make up. GWAS identifies risk SNPs not risk genes. There’s a great opportunity over the next 10-15 years to make a leap in the prioritization of GWAS findings, but we need a deep understanding of the non-coding genome to parse these out. This is particularly challenging when it comes to the brain due to its cell heterogeneity. This is where neuroscientists come in; their work can help us get at the biology and mechanisms driving increased risk for psychiatric disorders.
Our lab, along with the PGC and the LAGC, strives to contribute to the genetic understanding of psychiatric disorders through the study of marginalized communities, in particular Latin Americans, through the practice of techniques such as Hi-C, ATAC-seq, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq and DNA methylation assays.
From left to right: Chelsey Leveque (summer student), Rachel Eloy (research assistant), Emily-Val Tuliao (research assistant), Luz Porras (post-doctorate fellow), Gabriel Iglesias Maldonado (research assistant), Paola Giusti Rodriguez (principal investigator), Maria Paulina Currea (summer student), Isabelle Rodriguez Lausell (laboratory technician) and Angie Cordova (research assistant)