The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced its 2014 NARSAD Independent Investigator Grants, which will award $4 million in funding to 40 mid-career scientists from 33 institutions in nine countries. Selected by the Foundation's Scientific Council, comprised of 146 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research including two Nobel Prize winners, the grants fund basic research, new technologies and next generation therapies for schizophrenia, major affective disorders, and other serious mental illnesses.
The Foundation's Independent Investigator Grants provide $50,000 per year for up to two years to support investigators during the critical period between the initiation of research and the receipt of sustained funding. The grants are part of the ongoing efforts of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to support scientists at every stage of their career by funding cutting-edge research for the understanding, early detection, treatment, prevention and cure of mental illness, including anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.
"We are delighted to be able to support the work of these scientists who will apply powerful new technologies and insights to understanding, treating and curing mental illnesses that affect one in four people," says Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. 'Tackling illnesses that affect the brain remains one of science's most daunting challenges. Every year we build upon a growing body of knowledge about the brain and its functions that bring us closer to finding cures."
The Foundation's Independent Investigator Grants are given for basic research (understanding what happens in the brain to cause mental illness); new technologies that advance or create new ways of studying and understanding the brain; and next generation therapies that reduce symptoms and retrain the brain.
"The investigations supported by NARSAD Independent Investigator Grants are cumulatively and exponentially advancing what is known about the brain and how to treat its illnesses," said Scientific Council Member and Chair, Independent Investigator Grant Selection Committee, Robert M. Post, M.D., George Washington University, who notes more than half of the recipients also received Young Investigator Grants from the Foundation early in their careers. "By expanding our knowledge of genetics and epigenetics, brain circuitry, neural pathways, and how these impact behavior, we are steadily increasing the possibilities for those with mental illness to live full and productive lives."
According to Dr. Post, the range of project proposals this year was exceptional in its variety of new approaches to understand and treat mental illness.