Bernard Mulvey

  • Wisconsin-Madison, U. of (2013)

  • Neurosciences

  • Joseph D. Dougherty, Ph.D.

  • Sex- and cell type-specific functional assays of MDD variants



I am in the lab of Joe Dougherty, studying regulation of gene expression in the rodent brain in vivo and human brain cell types in vitro. My primary area of research involves massively parallel reporter assays (MPRAs) to study regions of the human genome implicated in major depressive disorder by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). GWAS data are useful for identifying genetic markers of susceptibility, but do not provide information about the functional/regulatory changes in DNA underlying the change in disease susceptibility. The primary aim of my project is to experimentally identify and demonstrate which DNA variants exert regulatory differences, which I anticipate will uncover a subset of variants with sex differences in regulatory effect, explaining a portion of why psychiatric disease burden is unevenly distributed between sexes. Moreover, using the TRAP method, I can examine how these variants act in particular cell types (neurons vs. astrocytes, etc.) of the living mouse brain. With functional variants identified, a secondary goal is to identify regulatory proteins (e.g., transcription factors) that bind at DNA regions where a regulatory-functional change occurs to identify gene regulators disrupted by multiple depression-associated SNPs. Insights on shared changes in regulatory function across the genome will help to contribute to an understanding of the molecular networks these variants cumulatively impact to affect disease risk.

Graduate Publications:

Mulvey B, Dougherty JD. 2021 Transcriptional-regulatory convergence across functional MDD risk variants identified by massively parallel reporter assays. Transl Psychiatry, 11(1):203.

Mulvey B, Lagunas T Jr, Dougherty JD. 2020 Massively Parallel Reporter Assays: Defining Functional Psychiatric Genetic Variants Across Biological Contexts. Biol Psychiatry, ():Online ahead of print.

Mulvey B, Bhatti DL, Gyawali S, Lake AM, Kriaucionis S, Ford CP, Bruchas MR, Heintz N, Dougherty JD. 2018 Molecular and Functional Sex Differences of Noradrenergic Neurons in the Mouse Locus Coeruleus. Cell Rep, 23(8):2225-2235.

Mulvey B, Dougherty JD. 2018 Weaving New Insights for the Genetic Regulation of Human Cognitive Phenotypes. Cell, 172(1-2):10-13.

Mulvey B, Bhatti D, Ford C, Bruchas M, Dougherty JD. (2017) Sex Differences in Gene Expression and Activity of Noradrenergic Neurons in the Mouse Locus Coeruleus. Molecular Psychiatry Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, Abstract.

Mulvey B, Bhatti D, Ford C, Bruchas M, Dougherty JD. (2017) Sex Differences in Gene Expression and Activity of Noradrenergic Neurons in the Mouse Locus Coeruleus. International Forum for Autism and Related Disorders (IMFAR) Conference, San Francisco, CA, Abstract.

Mulvey B. (2016) Sexually Dimorphic Regulation of Norepinephrine Projection Neurons: Transcriptional Profiling of Mouse Locus Coeruleus. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Conference, New York City, NY, Abstract.

Mulvey B, Dougherty J. (2016) Sexually Dimorphic Gene Expression in Monoaminergic Nuclei of the Mouse Brain. 10th Annual Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Medical Student Conference, New Haven, CT, Abstract.

Last Updated: 6/18/2018 4:04:44 PM

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