From left to right: Josef Isung, Diana Radu Djurfeldt, Gustaf Brander, Volen Ivanov, James Crowley, Christian Rück, Lina Lundström, Oskar Flygare, Andrew Gentile, Evelyn Andersson, Julia Boberg, Mia Asplund and Jesper Enander.

It’s officially 2017, and the members of our group took to Yasuragi spa & bath outside Stockholm for this year’s retreat! Although some were more devoted to the Yasuragi-outfits than others (see above), everyone participated in the different activities with enthusiasm.

Warmup: Brazilian Jiu Jiutso

We started off at the Huddinge gym with Brazilian Jiu Jiutso (BJJ). Volen has been training BJJ for a few years and wanted to show us what it’s all about. Our trainer was the esteemed Alan “Finfou” Nascimento BJJ profile of Alan.

Jesper & Josef in action

We learned how to wrestle somebody to the ground and apply different “chokes” (yes, you read that right). Everyone had a good time and fortunately there was no reason to visit the vårdcentral afterwards.

Jim Crowley: the latest in psychiatric genetics

You can find the presentation here: crowley-genes-yasuragi

After lunch and an artistic introduction we heard about the cutting edge in psychiatric genetics from Assistant Professor Jim Crowley. He presented several interesting results, for example that there is considerable genetic overlap between psychiatric disorders. Understanding these correlations might shed light on underlying mechanisms across disorders.

Dr. Crowley presents results on genetic correlations in psychiatric disorders.

However, before these results can be translated into clinical utility, we need to collect more samples. You can read more about our efforts in this field here:

Social activities & dinner

Next up was a visit to the spa & bath area at Yasuragi. The brave tried out an ice-cold pool before going back to the hot-tubs outside. Our evening activities were dinner and Karaoke!

The next morning started in the best way possible, Japanese radio gymnastics! If you feel inspired there’s a youtube-clip to follow along:

Morning gymnasitcs

Paul Lichtenstein: Why are the causal effects of shared environment so small?

You can find Paul Lichtenstein’s presentation here: lichtenstein-170113-shared-enviroenment

Professor Paul Lichtenstein talked about shared environment, and why the effect is relatively small for most psychiatric disorders. The exception is severe abnormal environments, for example substance abuse and criminality.

Professor Lichtenstein on the small effects of shared environment.

Grant Writing with Christian Rück & Jim Crowley

Every scientist knows that writing grants is an essential part of the job. It might seem overwhelming at first but it is crucial to write compelling grants that enables a researcher to conduct and present their research. Jim Crowley shared his 10 best tips and tricks that makes grant-writing easier. You can find the presentation here: yasuragi_grant_workshop

Looking ahead

The retreat gave us a perfect start for 2017. There are several projects underway and new collaborations are taking shape. We are excited to share these news with you, please stay in touch!