Campus & Community

Researchers awarded NARSAD grants

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Funds Harvard scientists to conduct innovative research on mental illness

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation announced $11.9 million in new research grants, strengthening its investment in the most promising ideas to lead to breakthroughs in understanding and treating mental illness, including 19 grants to Harvard researchers.

The 132-member Foundation Scientific Council, a volunteer group of pre-eminent mental health researchers, leads the rigorous selection process of identifying the most promising ideas for NARSAD Grants. This year, they reviewed applications from 1,030 researchers seeking NARSAD Young Investigator Grants — a grant program that has been the driving force behind thousands of scientific achievements for the past 25 years. From this group, 202 researchers were selected to receive NARSAD Young Investigator Grants to support their innovative research.

Receiving up to $60,000 over two years, young investigators pursue brain and behavior research related to depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

NARSAD Young Investigator Grants have proven to be catalysts for additional funding once the Young Investigators have “proof of concept” for their hypotheses. On average, NARSAD Young Investigator Grantees receive an additional 11-19 times their original grant amount in subsequent funding, and some have gone on to receive significantly more than that.

The 2012 Harvard NARSAD Grant recipients are:

Sarah E. Bergen, research fellow in psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (HMS)
Mark Christian Eldaief, instructor in neurology, Center for Brain Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Paolo Cassano, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Fei Du, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Elif Engin, research fellow in psychiatry, HMS
Nadja Freund, research fellow in psychiatry, HMS
Sharmin Ghaznavi, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Sebastian Haesler, postdoctoral fellow in molecular and cellular biology, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Michael M. Halassa, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Poornima A. Kumar, research fellow in psychiatry, HMS
Elizabeth A. Lawson, assistant professor of medicine, HMS
Hesheng Liu, assistant professor of radiology, HMS
Snezana M. Milanovic, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Ofer Pasternak, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Pia Pechtel, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
D. Bradford Reich, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, HMS
William B. Ruzicka, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Sivan Subburaju, instructor in psychiatry, HMS
Michael E. Talkowski, instructor in neurology, HMS
Yunjie Tong, instructor in psychiatry, HMS

Click here for a complete list of young investigators and their research.