The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in Great Neck, New York, has announced the recipients of its 2012 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grants.
Grants of $100,000 were awarded to fifteen established investigators pursuing cutting-edge research ideas with the greatest potential for breakthroughs in a wide range of disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, autism, and obsessive-compulsive and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Recipients of Distinguished Investigator grants in 2012 include Gary Bassell of Emory University's School of Medicine, who will explore dysfunction in synapses in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia; Lars Vedel Kessing of the University of Copenhagen, who will examine genetic differences in bipolar disorder patients to answer the critical question of which patients may respond to lithium treatment; Susan M. Dymecki of Harvard Medical School, who is widely known for her work in developmental neuroscience and brain-mapping technologies and will investigate the behavior of neurons in the serotonin neuroregulatory system, which is implicated in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder; and Barbara Milrod of Weill Cornell Medical College, who will conduct a trial to determine the effectiveness of panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy as a treatment for separation anxiety for patients with depression and/or anxiety who have not responded to other treatments.
Since launching the program in 1987, the foundation (formerly known as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) has awarded nearly $300 million in support of research projects seeking to identify the causes, improve treatments, and develop prevention strategies for mental illness.
"We fund the most promising ideas from around the world that are likely to advance our understanding and improve treatments for mental illness," said Jeffrey Borenstein, the foundation's acting president and CEO. "The fifteen brilliant scientists selected strive to improve the lives of those suffering and as they face increasingly tough funding challenges, the support made possible through donors of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is more important than ever."
For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Web site.