Public Release: 

Leading researchers to present at Mental Health Research Symposium on October 26 in New York City

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

(GREAT NECK, N.Y. - October 9, 2012) The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation will hold its 24th Annual Mental Health Research Symposium on Friday, October 26th from 9:00 am to 4:30 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, in New York City. The Foundation's 2012 Outstanding Achievement Prizewinners and select NARSAD Young Investigator Grantees will present their latest discoveries. The Symposium is open to the public at no charge, however prior registration is required and a $20 donation is requested.

Symposium moderator Robert M. A. Hirschfeld, M.D., a member of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said "this symposium provides a unique opportunity for the public to hear exciting and new information from the world's leading researchers on psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder."

The morning program will feature talks by:

2012 Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research

Michael O'Donovan, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiff University

Michael J. Owen, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiff University

Drs. O'Donovan and Owen are both Fellows of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and are among the United Kingdom's leading mental health researchers.

Dr. O'Donovan is Deputy Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and of the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University School of Medicine, in Wales, where he is also Professor of Psychiatric Genetics. Together with Dr. Owen, Founder and Director of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and Director of the Institute of Psychological Medicine of Medicine, their landmark research involves the application of molecular genetics technology to identify specific risk genes for schizophrenia and optimize treatment decisions for individual patients.

2012 Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Prize for Innovative Schizophrenia Research

James T. R. Walters, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiff University

Dr. Walters, a 2009 NARSAD Young Investigator Grantee, is Clinical Senior Lecturer at the United Kingdom's Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuropsychiatric

Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University, Wales. Dr. Walters is a highly promising young researcher, working to understand the nature and genetic basis of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.

2012 Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research

Eduard Vieta, Ph.D., University of Barcelona

Karen Dineen Wagner, M.D., Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Dr. Vieta, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Bipolar Disorders Program of the Hospital Clinic at the University of Barcelona, has made remarkable contributions to the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder that have helped improve the lives of millions of individuals with bipolar disorder around the globe. His studies range from those that have demonstrated the efficacy of an atypical antipsychotic in the long term prevention of both manic and depressive episodes to those that demonstrate the lasting effectiveness of psycho-education and related psychotherapeutic approaches in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Dr. Wagner is the Marie B. Gale Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of childhood mood disorders and has pioneered studies to improve the treatment of childhood bipolar and unipolar mood disorders. Her work has revealed that treatment response to medications in children with bipolar disorder differs significantly from that in adults.

The afternoon program will feature talks by:

NARSAD Young Investigator Grantees on Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders

David A. Prober, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

Pauline Belujon, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Giacomo Salvadore, M.D., National institute of Mental Health (NIMH/NIH)

2012 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research

Matthew State, M.D., Ph.D., Yale University

Dr. State is the Donald J. Cohen Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Genetics, and Deputy Chairman for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. His research centers on the search to discover genes related to neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood and is recognized as one of the most outstanding scientists in the discovery of rare genetic variants as risk factors for autism.

2012 Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cognitive Neuroscience

Larry R. Squire, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Dr. Squire is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences and Psychology at the UCSD School of Medicine and Research Career Scientist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego. Dr. Squire is considered one of the great contributors to neuroscience with research that is critical to both basic understanding and its application to clinically relevant processes. In addition to more than 450 research articles, Dr. Squire is the author of Memory and Brain (Oxford Press, 1987) and co-author with Scientific Council Member and Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, M.D. of Memory: From Mind to Molecule (W.H. Freeman, 1999).

To register for the Symposium or for more information please go to:


About the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

The nation's largest private funder of mental health research, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has awarded close to $300 million in NARSAD Grants to more than 3,300 scientists worldwide since 1987. Dedicated to identifying the causes, improving treatments and developing prevention strategies for mental illnesses that affect an overwhelming one-in-four people in the United States, the Foundation was formerly known as NARSAD (an acronym for National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression).

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