In partnership with the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research (Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT), local bioethicists and scientists, and mental health and disability rights advocates, NeuroGenE identifies and examines the fundamental ethical questions that arise in the context of global scientific research in psychiatric genetics.
Our work supports the potential for global psychiatric genetics and genomics research to lead to improvements in mental health research infrastructure, and in the lives of people with mental and neurodevelopmental conditions. Our research vision encompasses capacity building and research collaboration; assent and informed consent; translation; stigma; equity and justice; and mental illness, identity, and personhood.
NeuroGenE has enabled the formation of the Africa Ethics Working Group (AEWG), a network of experts interested in the ethics of psychiatric genetics across the Stanley genomic sites in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Africa). The AEWG, led by Chair Dr Violet Naanyu and Vice-Chair Dr Janet Nakigudde , have produced empirical research and ethical case studies on the arising contextual ethical issues in psychiatric genetics.
Our Oxford team is investigating the ethical issues relating to digital mental health application within the context of Africa. We have a UKRI GCRF Networking grant to engage young people in the development of ethical digital mental health innovations in Africa.
In addition, NeuroGenE funds small projects that align with our research vision, including frameworks of attitudes towards mental health disorders in Ghana with Dr. Caesar Atuire, and exploring parental understanding of cognitive impairment and cognitive enhancement in India with Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta and Dr. George Estrin.