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Depression / Blog

 David Mrazek M.D.

David Mrazek M.D.'s Bio

Dr. Mrazek studies the links between genomic variablity and psychiatric illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Relationships and Research


In 2010, it is important to be explicit about relationships.  An appropriate question was raised related to my relationships with companies that do pharmacogenomic testing.  I currently work full time at Mayo Clinic and receive a fixed salary with no incentives for providing care or any laboratory testing done at Mayo Clinic.  For the last ten years, I have worked on defining how gene variations influence antidepressant response. Every week I am consulted by patients who are concerned about their reactions to anti-depressants and other psychotropic medications. 

The research I have done has led Mayo Clinic to apply for a patent on the prediction of psychotropic drug response based on genetic variations.  While it is possible that in the future I may benefit from the licensing of this intellectual property, to date I have received no personal income from this work.  I have received research support to study the clinical utility of pharmacogenomic testing from a company that has developed software to support clinician decision making.

One common problem experienced by some patients who take psychotropic medications is that they can not adequately metabolize the medications that they are given and experience side effects.  In most cases, these are not serious and patients simply refuse to continue to take a medication that makes them ill.  However, there are rare cases of patients who have died as a consequence of taking medications that they could not metabolize.  These were clearly needless deaths.