The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in New York City has announced grants totaling $13.8 million in support of young investigators conducting mental health research.
Young Investigator grants were awarded to two hundred early-career scientists in twenty countries who are engaged in groundbreaking neurobiological research on the causes of and treatments and prevention strategies for psychiatric disorders. This year's recipients are conducting studies on a range of disorders, including addiction, autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive and post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and schizophrenia, as well as suicide prevention.
Selected from more than nine hundred applicants, the recipients include Mariam Aly (Columbia University), who is exploring why individuals with ADHD and PTSD are at greater risk for nicotine dependence; Can Ruan (Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing), who will study a population of patients for a genetic predisposition to poor breakdown of the antipsychotic medicine clozapine; Christoph Kraus (Medical University of Vienna), who will use deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat patients with OCD; and Rui Peixoto (University of Pittsburgh), who is exploring how dopamine signaling is regulated during early development and how it influences the maturation of circuits in the striatum.
According to BBRF, 69 percent of the projects funded (137 grants) involve basic research, 15 percent (29 grants) are focused on diagnostic tools/early interventions, 3 percent (7 grants) involve the development of new technologies, and 14 percent (27 grants) are focused on the development of next-generation therapies to help reduce symptoms of mental illness and/or prevent brain and behavior disorders.
"One in five people in the United States lives with a mental illness. This year's BBRF Young Investigators represent a new generation of researchers who will pioneer breakthroughs in mental health research," said BBRF president and CEO Jeffrey Borenstein. "We are excited to be able to support the work of these young scientists, who will apply powerful new technologies and insights to understanding, treating, and curing mental illness."
For a complete list of 2019 Young Investigator grant recipients, see the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation website.