In this episode, we dive into the remarkable story of one American family, the Galvins: Mimi, Don, and their 12 children, 6 of whom were afflicted with schizophrenia. Robert Kolker follows the Galvin’s from the 1950s to today, through, he writes, “the eras of institutionalization and shock therapy, the debates between psycho-therapy versus medication, the needle-in-a-haystack search for genetic markers for the disease, and the profound disagreements about the cause and origin of the illness itself.” So this conversation, with a16z’s Hanne Tidnam, is more than a portrait of one family; it covers all of how we have struggled over the last decades to understand this mysterious and devastating mental illness: the biology of it, the drivers, the behaviors and pathology, the genomics, and of course the search for treatments that might help, from lobotomies to ECT to thorazine.

The Story of Schizophrenia,” April 7, 2020