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Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards 200 NARSAD Young Investigator grants

NEW YORK CITY (September 22, 2014)The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced the award of NARSAD Young Investigator Grants valued at more than $12.7 million to 200 of the world's most promising young scientists. Recipients of the $30,000+/year, two-year grants for groundbreaking neurobiological research will seek to identify causes, improve treatments and develop prevention strategies for psychiatric disorders that affect one in four people, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Recipients of the 28th annual NARSAD Young Investigator Grants are conducting research across 100 institutions in 13 countries. They were selected by the Foundation's Scientific Council, which comprises 145 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research, including two Nobel Prizewinners; four former directors of the NIMH; 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences; 20 chairs of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Departments at leading medical institutions; and 45 members of the Institute of Medicine.

"We are delighted 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," says Foundation President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, noting that recipients of NARSAD Young Investigator Grants have developed such game-changing discoveries as the use of clozapine for treatment-resistant schizophrenia, deep brain stimulation for resistant depression, and the development of optogenetics.

According to Dr. Borenstein, the Foundation's successful model for funding brain research not only supports scientists throughout their careers, but can make a huge difference in the career of a young investigator. Once the grant project is complete, these young investigators usually go on to receive sustained grant support from other sources that has proven to equal as much as 50 times the original research grant amount.

"The Foundation believes that scientific breakthroughs come from encouraging people to think outside the box," says Nobel Prizewinner and Scientific Council member Dr. Eric Kandel. "By having the best scientists in the field select the most promising research projects to fund, the Foundation has consistently sponsored research that has led to important advances to improve the lives of those with mental illness."

Since 1987, the foundation has received 14,034 applications for 3,497 Young Investigator Grants awardedan overall investment of $204.4 million. These grants enable early career scientists to extend research fellowship training or begin careers as independent research faculty, and garner pilot data for innovative ideas before they have "proof of concept" for their work. In many cases, NARSAD Grants offer the first critical support for a young scientist's work that may not otherwise receive funding.

The 200 new Young Investigators will conduct research studies to understand what happens in the brain to cause mental illness; use or develop new technologies to advance possibilities for studying the brain; or work toward developing next generation therapies for various psychiatric disorders.

'Today's scientists have unprecedented resources to understand illnesses that affect the brain," says Dr. Herbert Pardes, President of the Foundation's Scientific Council and Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "Every year we build upon a growing body of knowledge about the brain and its functions that brings us closer to finding cures."


Contact: Nadine Woloshin
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

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