Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards $11.9 Million for Mental Health Research

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has announced $11.9 million in research grants to support promising ideas for breakthroughs in understanding and treating mental illness.

The organization formerly known as NARSAD (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) awarded more than two hundred Young Investigator Grants of up to $60,000 over two years for research related to depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive and post-traumatic stress disorders. Grant recipients include John P. Christianson of the University of Colorado, Denver, who will apply optogenetics in the insular cortex to strengthen the way the brain perceives safety and danger — a mechanism that is impaired in PTSD patients.

The Young Investigator Grants are part of the foundation's NARSAD grants program, which supports basic research, new technologies, diagnostic tools and early intervention, and next-generation therapies. Young Investigator grantees typically go on to receive an additional eleven to nineteen times their original grant amounts in subsequent funding.

"The NARSAD Young Investigator Grants have led to groundbreaking and important new research that has improved the lives of people living with mental illness through enhanced treatments and therapies and a better understanding of the causes of mental illness," said BBRF president and CEO Benita Shobe.