2018 International Mental Health Research Symposium

Friday, October 26, 2018
2018 International Mental Health Research Symposium

This annual event features presentations by our Outstanding Achievement Prizewinners, select BBRF Young Investigator Grantees, and Keynote Speakers.


Kaufman Music Center
129 West 67th St. (btw Broadway and Amsterdam)
New York, NY 10023

Join us for a keynote talk from The Honorable Steven Leifman, Associate Administrative Judge, Criminal Division; and featured speaker Altha Stewart, M.D., President, American Psychiatric Association (APA), along with presentations on leading research discoveries across brain and behavior disorders by the Foundation’s 2018 Outstanding Achievement Prizewinners and two select Young Investigator Grantees.


Registration: 8:30 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am-12:10 pm

Outstanding Achievement Prizewinners

Repercussions of Abnormal Dopamine on Brain and Behavior in Schizophrenia
Anissa Abi-Dargham, M.D.
Stony Brook University

Bridging Brain, Mind, and Experience to Understand Psychosis
Guillermo Horga, M.D., Ph.D.
New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University

Schizophrenia and the Brain’s Folded Genome
Schahram Akbarian, M.D., Ph.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Evaluating Schizophrenia Risk Genes in Human Neurons
Kristen Brennand, Ph.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Heart Matters: Bipolar Disorder as a Vascular Disease
Benjamin I. Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.C.
University of Toronto & Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Advancing Translational Research and Clinical Care in Bipolar Disorder
Lakshmi N. Yatham, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P.C., M.R.C.Psych (UK)., MBA (Exec)
University of British Columbia

Imaging the Developing Brain in Autism
Joseph Piven, M.D.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Break: 12:10 pm-1:10 pm
Afternoon Session: 1:10 pm-4:30 pm

Featured Speaker

Using Mental Health Research to Achieve Health Equity
Altha Stewart, M.D.

Keynote Speaker

Ending the Criminalization of Mental Illness
Judge Steven Leifman

Outstanding Achievement Prizewinners

Imagining a Better World for Children with Autism
Ami Klin, Ph.D.
Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Acetylcholine Receptors and Higher Brain Functions
Jean Pierre Changeux, Ph.D.
College de France and Institut Pasteur, France

The Computational CEO of the Brain
Xiao-Jing Wang, Ph.D.
Center for Neural Science, NYU

Young Investigators

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Socially Anxious Youth
Michelle Pelcovitz, Ph.D.
Weill Cornell Medical College

Emerging Wearable Biomarker Sensors for Mental Health Monitoring
Sam Emaminejad, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles

The order of the presentations is subject to change.

Thank you to our Discoverer Sponsor:

Moderated by 
Robert M.A. Hirschfeld, M.D.
Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University

DeWitt Wallace Senior Scholar

Professor of Psychiatry

Scientific Council Member (Founding Member)

2003 Falcone Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Affective Disorders Research (Colvin Prize)

2002 Distinguished Investigator Grant

Dr. Hirschfeld’s research has significantly contributed to understanding the classifications of depression and bipolar disorders; their clinical course, relationship to personality and personality disorders and treatment with medication and psychotherapy. He and his colleagues developed the Mood Disorder Questionnaire, the most widely used screening instrument for bipolar disorder.

Dr. Hirschfeld chaired the original and revised versions of the American Psychiatric Association’s working group to develop practice guidelines for treatment of patients with bipolar disorder. He was Chief of the Mood, Anxiety and Personality Disorders Research Branch and Clinical Director of the Depression Awareness, Recognition and Treatment (D/ART) Program of the NIMH.

Photo Gallery