Welsh Government

Senior Research Leader

Professor Sir Michael Owen


Department and Institution

School of Medicine, Cardiff University

NHS Trust/ Health Board

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Current Post

Professor of Psychological Medicine, Director of the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Director of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Deputy Head of School, School of Medicine, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Primary Research Field

Psychiatric Genetics

Secondary Research Field

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neuroscience

Contact details

02920 688320 


Professor Michael Owen’s research focuses on the genetics of major psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and depression. His work has used a combination of molecular genetic approaches including genome-wide association, copy number variant analysis and second generation sequencing to identify the specific genetic variants that confer risk to psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

In recent years his group has identified novel genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD. This has allowed him to study the impact of genetic risk factors across diagnostic boundaries and to influence contemporary attempts to re-define the boundaries of major mental disorders. His recent work on schizophrenia has identified shared genetic risk with other psychiatric disorders and points to the involvement of specific synaptic proteins in disease pathogenesis.  As well as continuing his work on psychiatric genetics, he is currently establishing research programmes aimed at translating recent genetic findings into a greater understanding of disease mechanisms and into the development of novel biomarkers to aid classification and diagnosis.