About UsThe mission of the Center is to integrate research and clinical practice to enable more accurate risk prediction, targeted prevention, precise diagnosis and effective treatments for psychiatric disorders. Precision psychiatry, an emerging field within precision medicine, aims to identify and leverage individual differences in biology, lifestyle, environment and the social determinants of health, to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.
There is increasing recognition that neuropsychiatric disorders affect all walks of life and are responsible for an enormous burden of suffering, disability and even mortality. A major focus of the Center is a deep investment in addressing the problem of suicide, including the prediction and prevention of suicidal behaviors and the care of patients across all areas of medicine who are affected by this growing public health crisis.
Drawing on Mass General Psychiatry’s world-class expertise in big data analytics, genomics, neuroscience, precision medicine, and clinical trials, the Center is uniquely positioned to lead this rapidly emerging field. The Center’s work focuses on some of the fundamental unsolved questions in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, including:
- How can we give clinicians the tools to better predict and prevent suicide?
- Can we use genomics and other biomarkers to improve diagnosis?
- Can we identify actionable strategies that can prevent depression among those at risk?
- Can we predict who will develop posttraumatic stress disorder after trauma so that we can enable targeted prevention?
- How can we move beyond a one-size-fits all, trial-and-error approach to treatment?
- How can we use the discoveries emerging from genetic research to develop new, more targeted treatments based on the biology of mental illness?
Integrating research, clinical implementation, education and training, the Center is committed to driving innovation to implementation and to make discoveries that can be rapidly translated to clinical care.
- Deaths from suicide have increased by more than 35% in the past 20 years
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people
- 20% of U.S. adults, or 50 million, are experiencing a mental illness
- 50% of all lifetime mental illnesses begin by age 14
Our Research Areas
The Center's work is focused in four strategic areas:
Developing strategies, using data-driven approaches, to enable risk prediction and preventive interventions for important mental health outcomes.
Precision Treatment Optimization
Reducing trial-and-error prescriptions by using data-driven methods to more rapidly match individual patients to the most effective treatment, including medication, psychotherapy and digital health technologies.
Precision Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics
Developing new, more effective treatments based on our understanding of the causes of disease.
Education, Training and Dissemination
Enabling new training and educational opportunities in the methods, tools and clinical practice of precision psychiatry.