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The Promise of Stem-Cell Biology: Treating People at High Risk for Psychiatric Illness Before They Become Patients

A story about the research of Dr. Kristen Brennand, which 20 years ago might have sounded like science fiction: taking skin or blood cells harmlessly sampled from psychiatric patients, reprogramming them to a stem-cell-like state, and then directing them to redevelop in culture dishes as brain cells. This technology is enabling scientists to observe pathology as it emerges in cells that bear patients’ precise genetic sequence. It’s especially valuable in illnesses like schizophrenia and autism that have deep genetic roots which have been linked to abnormalities that may begin at the dawn of life, when the brain is just beginning to form.

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How Early BBRF Grants Helped Place Two Young Investigators on the Path to Major Career Success

"A research career is all about a path. And for me, the path really started with BBRF.”

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A Strong Impulse to Help People Who  Live with Mental Illness Propels a Diverse Career in Clinical Brain Research

Deanna Barch, Ph.D., a much honored research scientist who now chairs the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, did not take long in life to discover her passion.

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Restoring a Delicate Balance: Dr. Hilary Blumberg Seeks Ways to Therapeutically Address Subtle Brain Changes that Imaging Has Revealed in Mood Disorders

“I love the science of it!” says Dr. Hilary Blumberg, a research pioneer who has used advanced imaging to figure out how the brain subtly changes in bipolar disorder, major depression, and other mood disorders. “But what really drives me,” she stresses, “is bringing this work to the point where it is helping people—helping to relieve their suffering, improving their prognosis, and decreasing early mortality due to suicide..."

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