Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards $13.7 Million in NARSAD Young Investigator Grants to 198 Scientists Pursuing Innovative Mental Health Research

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards $13.7 Million in NARSAD Young Investigator Grants to 198 Scientists Pursuing Innovative Mental Health Research

Posted: October 13, 2016

Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
Public Relations 
Contact: Nadine Woloshin 212-843-8041/917-699-9456 [email protected]

NEW YORK CITY (October 13, 2016)—The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced the award of its NARSAD Young Investigator Grants valued at $13.7 million to 198 of the world’s most promising young scientists. The $70,000 grants ($35,000 a year for two years) support the work of talented young scientists with innovative ideas for groundbreaking neurobiological research seeking to identify causes, improve treatments and develop prevention strategies for psychiatric disorders—including addiction, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia—that affect one in five people.

Recipients of the 29th annual NARSAD Young Investigator Grants are from 70 institutions in 13 countries. They were selected by the Foundation’s Scientific Council, which is comprised of 173 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research, including two Nobel Prizewinners; four former directors of the National Institute of Mental Health; four recipients of the National Medal of Science; 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences; 26 chairs of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Departments at leading medical institutions; and 55 members of the National Academy of Medicine.

“These young scientists are conducting research into the underpinnings of mental illness that will improve efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat mental illness,” says Foundation President and CEO Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D. “We are grateful to all of our donors whose generosity makes this important research possible and brings us closer to cures that will alleviate the suffering mental illness brings.”

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 for young investigators, permitting them to begin careers as independent research faculty or garner pilot data for innovative ideas to develop “proof of concept” for their work.

Once the grant project is complete, these young investigators usually go on to receive subsequent funding valued at 11 to 19 times the original grant amount. In many cases, NARSAD Grants offer the first critical support for a young scientist’s work that may not otherwise receive funding.

“NARSAD Young Investigator Grants have led to groundbreaking and important new research that has improved the lives of people living with mental illness through enhanced treatments and therapies, and a better understanding of the causes of mental illness,” says Herbert Pardes, M.D., President of the Foundation’s Scientific Council and Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “These early career scientists are making great strides in basic research, new technologies, next generation therapies, and early intervention techniques. This is the kind of out-of-the-box research that offers the best hope for change.”

Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than 4,000 Young Investigator Grants for an overall investment of $244 million; recipients of these grants received more than $2.4 billion in subsequent research funding. Overall, the Foundation has awarded $360 million to fund more than 5,000 grants to 4,000 leading scientists around the world, generating over $3.5 billion in additional funding for these scientists.

This year, the Scientific Council reviewed more than 750 applications to select 198 Young Investigators. The breakdown of funding for Young Investigator Grants is as follows: 75 percent funds basic research to understand what happens in the brain to cause mental illness; 18 percent funds next generation therapies for early diagnosis, treatment, symptom reduction and, ultimately, the prevention and cure of mental illness, and brain and behavior disorders; and seven percent funds the development of new technologies to advance or create new ways of studying and understanding the brain.

About the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation:

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering of mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The Foundation funds the most innovative ideas in neuroscience and psychiatry to better understand the causes and develop new ways to treat brain and behavior disorders. These disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $360 million to fund more than 5,000 grants to more than 4,000 leading scientists around the world. This has led to over $3.5 billion in additional funding for these scientists. The Foundation is also dedicated to educating the public about mental health and the importance of research, including the impact that new discoveries have on improving the lives of those with mental illness, which will ultimately enable people to live full, happy and productive lives. For more information, visit www.bbrfoundation.org.