Head, Pharmacogenetics Research Clinic, Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthDr. Mueller’s overarching goal is to improve drug treatment of psychiatric disorders. Pharmacogenetics holds the promise to identify gene variants that are associated with response and side effects. Once validated, this approach will allow for precision medicine avoiding long trial-and-error strategies before the right drug for the right patient is identified.
Dr. Mueller started his position at CAMH in 2008, where he began to assess patients’ CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 gene variants in order to optimize treatment with antidepressants and antipsychotic medication. This clinic is one of the first in psychiatry worldwide and the gene panel has since then been extended.
A particular focus of Dr. Mueller’s research is to target genetic markers that predict medication side effects such as antipsychotic-induced weight gain (AIWG). Dr. Mueller’s research has revealed significant associations between AIWG and, the cannabinoid-1 receptor (Tiwari et al., 2010) gene, the melanocortin-4-receptor (MC4R) gene (Chowdhury et al., 2013 and Malhotra et al., 2012), the dopamine D2 receptor gene (Müller et al., 2012), and the neurpeptide-Y gene (Tiwari et al., 2013). Dr. Mueller’s research group is currently developing an algorithm that will incorporate these genes along with clinical and demographic risk factors in order to develop a genetic risk model of AIWG for clinical application.