Who are we?
Mendel’s Brain (MB) is a start-up based in Valencia (Spain) that has been established as the first direct-to-consumer company specialized in Psychology. Our goal is to promote mental health and wellbeing as well as to push forward personalized medicine applied to psychopathology.
Mendel’s Brain merges genetics, psychology and Big Data to create a useful tool based on scientific rigor: the DNA analysis kit.
MB has developed and launched to the Spanish market a DNA analysis kit which measures 700.000 genetic variants, through a saliva sample, in order to analyze the individual’s predisposition to exhibit certain psychological traits such as personality traits, mood disorders, sleep disturbances or degenerative disorders. MB is it a first-in class and our goal is to continue in this direction, expand to international markets and keep improving our product.
Mendel’s Brain is a strongly research-driven Team with a highly multidisciplinary background. We aim to develop new gene-trait correlation research lines with practical implementation in order to have an actual impact on people’s well-being by means of personalized prevention and treatment techniques.
Our areas of expertise include: genome-wide association (GWAs), gen set analysis methods (GSA), Mental health, psychobiology and biostatistics.
What we bring to Partnership?
Medel’s Brain is looking for partnership in order to develop and implement multidisciplinary research projects with a positive impact on the society’s mental health. To that end, partnerships and topic proposals should aim for delivering results that are directed to provide access to mental health professionals and other relevant actors, to evidence-based, innovative, cost-effective strategies and interventions for the promotion of well-being and the prevention of mental illness.
To that end, we aim to merge our efforts in order to create a synergy among the actors of this partnership. We look for research teams with access to a wide sample and entitled to collect participant’s psychological information as well as biological samples. Additionally, we aim to collaborate with institutions and research groups interested in developing and applying treatments or preventive measures, in order to test its efficiency depending on genetic differences. Mendel’s Brain team will provide a wide range of expertise on psychogenomics, the management of genetic analyses and biostatistics processes. Additionally, through our business associates we will be capable to provide access to genetic analyses laboratories, research facilities at the University of Valencia as well as back-end programming services.
More specifically Mendel’s Brain will undertake:
- Genetic analysis: Genotyping participants through GSA or exome analysis in order to obtain SNPs and Polygenic Risk Scores.
- Data processing: Big Data expertise and tools in order to process all the psychological, environmental and biological data.
- Biostatistics: Professionals able to apply complex biostatistics processes applied to Psychogenomics.
- Expertise understanding genetic results and relationships genes-trait.
Combining our efforts, we will achieve a better understanding of the biological substrates of normal and pathological psychologic processes. This will lead to the identification of genes (SNPs) and brain pathways that confer genetic risk (Polygenic Risk Scores) for mental disorders, as well as the identification of environmental factors that promote the appearance of those disorders in genetically vulnerable individuals. The ultimate goal is to use this information to develop more effective treatments (psychological and pharmacological), preventive measures, and diagnostic tools for these disorders.
Mendel’s Brain not only has a strong scientific interest but also is a company driven by a desire to provide society with useful tools to improve mental wellbeing. Thus, a partnership with Mendel’s Brain team will allow the possibility to cover the gap between basic research in Psychogenomics and their commercial applications, carrying out projects that will result in the creation of novel, disruptive tools for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment programs.
To that end, we seek psychology and psychiatry researcher’s teams from Universities, Hospitals, educational centers and pharmaceutical context.
We offer our partners the opportunity to complete their research with the genetic dimension and applied solutions.
Mendel’s Brain is focused on gene – trait correlation research. These studies aim to explore the genetic basis underlying the variations among individuals in the expression of mental disorders and psychological related traits as personality, intelligence, sleep patterns or addictions. Under this framework Mendel’s Brain is mainly interested in the following research lines:
- Gene – environment interaction to examine the role of genetics and environment on the on the expression of certain psychological phenotype.
- Pharmacogenetics to understand how genetic variability influences the individual’s response to medication.
Gene – Environment interaction
Gene–environment interaction refers to the interplay of genes and the physical and social environment. Despite the misconception that genes are determinant, research shows that early experiences and environmental factors such as education, socioeconomics or parent’s personality, can determine how genes are turned on and off and whether an individual will express a phenotype or not.
Gene-environment studies can provide important insights into the complex aetiology of the mental disorders. Combined research with a multidisciplinary approach will allow both researchers interested in environmental risk factors and researchers interested in biological factors, to properly understand how the environment actually influences individuals depending on their genetic vulnerabilities.
This understanding will lead to the development of personalized prevention and treatment strategies in order to successfully promote educational and social success, psychological wellbeing, and reduce mental illness in our society.
- Screening evidence-based methods and tools
- Evidence-based pedagogical guidelines to foster mental health promotion in educational centers
- Evidence-based and efficient guidelines for the promotion of mental wellbeing and prevention of mental diseases
- Evidence-based guidelines for mental health professionals on personalized medicine applied to psychopathology.
Pharmacogenetics research focuses on the study of the relationship between genetic variations and drug treatment outcomes. Psychotropic prescription drugs have shown to have a relative efficiency among individuals and these are partially due to biological differences. The goal of pharmacogenetic studies is thus to analyze and predict the individual’s response to certain medication based on its genetic variants.
Pharmacogenetics aims to analyze the influence of genetic polymorphism on both the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications in order to reach an efficient and personalized treatment and improve the success rate of the treatments.
Therefore, Mendel’s Brain is actively looking for building multidisciplinary partnerships with medical and pharmaceutical teams with the goal to boost and coordinate research projects with direct applications on clinical psychology and psychiatry.
- Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacologic treatment choice and its doses.
- Development of new psychotropic medications adjusted to groups of individuals with specific genetic variations.
- Study of genetic basis influencing the placebo effect.
In summary, if a substantial proportion of the differences between people in mental health, important life outcomes or response to treatments is due to their genetics, why not to utilize this information to design better experiments and interventions?
From Mendel’s Brain we believe that the use of genetic data would allow for more powerful research designs by accounting for a proportion of variation among study groups and detecting biases and confounders.
Who we are?
Currently, the research group is made up of 6 members, coordinated by Dr. Manuel Perez Alonso.
The profile of Mendel’s Brain members is highly multidisciplinary, including biologists, geneticists, psychologist and bioinformaticians. The team also has open doctoral and postdoctoral research programs.
- Manuel Perez Alonso: Professor of Genetics at the University of Valencia. Coordinator, research consultant and founder of Imegen.
GOOGLE SCHOOLAR: https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=kVRIIq4AAAAJ&hl=es
- Aitor García Anaya: Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology, Master’s degree in Business Administration and Mendel’s Brain CEO.
- Diana Abad Tortosa, PhD in Neuroscience specialized in psychobiology andHead of research.
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-3589-1355
- Gabriel Esteller Collado: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Master’s degree in Neuroscience and PhD student.
- Roger Muñoz Navarro: PhD in psychology, assistant professor of personality at the University of Valencia and research consultant.
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7064-3699
- Albert Gomis Verdú: Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy, graduated in Management Information Systems and Master’s degree in biostatistics.
Our partners and advisors
- Datia Analytics is a company specialized in bioinformatic solutions with more than 15 years of experience in the sector. Their team is trained in project management, measurement software development, system integrations and data science. Datia Analytics has been responsible for the construction of the Informational System, Mendel’s Garden, which allows the storage of data from the internal activity of Mendel’s Brain, and also from external research activity in the field of psychogenomic studies. Collaboration with this entity has the following advantages: Improve the accuracy and availability of information, improve information management and decision-making, have better understanding of individual’s profiles, reduce costs and improve efficiency.
- Imegen is an international recognized company specialized in genetic diagnosis. Imegen has a track record with many years of experience in the interpretation of genetic data and they work to help clinicians and researchers by contributing their expertise in interpreting genomic data. They are our reference laboratory for exome sequencing and interpretation.
- University of Valencia. Mendel’s Brain collaborates and gets advices from professors at the biology and psychology faculty form this university. This partnership increases the knowledge of our team and improves the quality of our research designs and data interpretation.
Interest in forthcoming calls in Horizon Europe Cluster 1: Health
Mendel’s Brain is looking for a partnership for projects particularly – but nor only – in the following areas:
HORIZON-HLTH-2023-STAYHLTH- 1.04: Improving population level screening
strategies and programs for non-communicable diseases
HORIZON-HLTH-2024-STAYHLTH- 1.05: Personalized prevention for noncommunicable
diseases – addressing areas of unmet needs using multiple data sources
HORIZON-HLTH-2024-DISEASE- 3.10: Integrated management of multimorbidity
HORIZON-HLTH-2024-DISEASE-3.14: Tackling under-researched high-burden medical
HORIZON-HLTH-2023-CARE- 4.2: A resilient health and care workforce for the future
HORIZON-HLTH-2023-TOOL- 5.04: Better integration and use of health-related real-world and research data, including genomics, for improved clinical outcomes, research and innovation