One of the main goals of the Gaine lab is to understand the role of epigenetics in the development and treatment of psychiatric disorders, and how environmental factors can influence this. Projects specifically focus on suicidal behavior, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, and utilize a variety of large-scale sequencing techniques alongside region-specific sequencing to identify changes in DNA methylation and gene expression in human samples.
Another goal of the Gaine lab is to generate mouse models for disease using CRISPR. Currently, we are characterizing a new mouse model for neurodegeneration that was generated using CRISPR to introduce a mutation in the Prkar1b gene. Ongoing work includes behavioral testing at different ages, and biochemical experiments to identify how this mutation leads to a Parkinsonism phenotype.