Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards $13 Million in Grants

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards $13 Million in Grants

The New York City-based Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has announced grants totaling $13 million in support of young investigators conducting mental health research.

Young Investigator grants were awarded to two hundred early-career scientists in seventeen countries who are pursuing groundbreaking neurobiological research aimed at identifying causes, improving treatments, and developing prevention strategies for psychiatric disorders. This year’s recipients are studying a range of conditions, including addiction, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive and post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and schizophrenia.

Selected from more than eight hundred applicants, grant recipients include Hamed Ekhtiari (Laureate Institute for Brain Research), who will test transcranial alternating-current stimulation as a possible treatment for opioid addiction; Jayne Morriss (University of Reading), who is studying how individual differences in responding to uncertainty relate to anxiety and learning under different levels of uncertainty and threat; Makoto Kawai (Stanford University), who is studying the relationship between sleep disruptions and late-life depression; and Stefanie Malan-Muller (Stellenbosch University), who will study how different kinds of gut bacteria are associated with anxiety and depression in patients.

According to BBRF, 69 percent of the projects funded (139 grants) are for basic research, 14 percent (27 grants) for the development of next-generation therapies, 11 percent (22 grants) for the development of diagnostic tools and early interventions, and 6 percent (12 grants) for the development of new technologies that can drive basic research and new developments in clinical settings.

"One in five people in the United States is living with a mental illness," said BBRF president and CEO Jeffrey Borenstein. "The research our grantees conduct provides tremendous hope for continued advancements in our understanding of the brain and continued improvements in treatment and ultimately, cures, and methods of prevention."

For a complete list of Young Investigator grant recipients, see the BBRF site.