The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced it is awarding over $10.2 million in Young Investigator Grants to 150 promising early career scientists with innovative ideas in mental health research. The scientists are seeking to identify causes, improve treatments, and develop methods of prevention for psychiatric illnesses that impact millions of people in the United States and throughout the world.
Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $440 million in research grants to more than 5,300 scientists globally.
The 2022 Young Investigators are focused on a broad range of psychiatric illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, and PTSD. Nearly two dozen grantees will perform innovative research on addiction, including the epidemics of opioid and alcohol use disorders which have intensified during the pandemic. As rates of suicide in the United States continue to increase, seven grantees are creatively addressing new and better ways of predicting who is at greatest risk of suicide and on ways of preventing or reducing suicidal behavior. A dozen of the 2022 projects involve brain stimulation, including approaches that are both invasive and non-invasive, and new applications which are rapid-acting.
Some of this year’s Young Investigators are performing pioneering studies of new and as yet unproven methods of brain stimulation, such as t-FUS (focused transcranial ultrasound stimulation), which delivers acoustic energy to targets of interest deep in the brain. This potentially could be a non-invasive alternative to deep-brain stimulation.
“BBRF Young Investigators represent a new generation of researchers who will pioneer breakthroughs in mental health research,” said Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D, President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. “We are excited to support the work of these young scientists who will apply powerful new technologies and insights to finding better treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness.”
The 2022 Young Investigator recipients were selected by the Foundation’s Scientific Council, comprised of 188 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research, including one Nobel Prizewinner; two former directors of the National Institute of Mental Health; three recipients of the National Medal of Science; seven members of the National Academy of Sciences; 16 National Institute of Health Chiefs & Directors; 42 chairs of psychiatry and neuroscience departments at leading medical institutions; and 50 members of the National Academy of Medicine.
This year the Foundation’s Scientific Council reviewed more than 600 applications to select the 150 Young Investigators from four categories of research: basic research, next generation therapies, diagnostic tools/early intervention, and new technologies. Of the award recipients, 73% are from the United States, and 27% come from 14 other countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Portugal, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.
“BBRF Young Investigator grants have led to groundbreaking research that has improved the lives of people living with mental illness,” said Herbert Pardes, M.D., President of the BBRF Scientific Council. “These early-career scientists are making significant strides in basic research, early intervention, and diagnostic tools, new technologies, and next-generation therapies that will offer the best hope for advances in treatments for psychiatric illness.”
For detailed information about the Young Investigator Grant recipients, click here.
About Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia, as well as research on suicide prevention. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $440 million to fund more than 5,300 leading scientists around the world, which has led to over $4 billion in additional funding for these scientists. 100% of every dollar donated for research is invested in research. BBRF operating expenses are covered by separate foundation grants. BBRF is the producer of the Emmy® nominated public television series Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, which aims to remove the stigma of mental illness and demonstrate that with help, there is hope.