Foundation Adds 12 New Members to Scientific Council

Posted: September 28, 2017
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The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has named 12 new members to its Scientific Council, now comprised of 177 leading experts across disciplines in brain and behavior research. The Scientific Council review more than 1,000 grant applications each year and award grants to support scientists conducting cutting-edge research in order to understand, detect, treat, prevent and cure mental illness.

The Foundation has awarded more than $379 million to fund over 5,500 grants to more than 4,500 scientists around the world, leading to over $3.5 billion in additional funding for these scientists.

“We are delighted to welcome a dozen of the world’s leading experts in their fields to assist the Foundation’s Scientific Council in selecting the best ideas in brain research,” said Herbert Pardes, M.D., founding and current President of the Scientific Council and Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Additionally, he notes that in 2016, the Foundation awarded $19.1 million to Young Investigator, Independent Investigator, and Distinguished Investigator Grantees.

“The Foundation is a driving force in advancing the understanding of mental illness, and we are able to do that thanks to the generosity of our donors and the dedication of our Scientific Council members. Over the past 30 years, they have reviewed more than 25,000 grant applications,” noted Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

The new members of the Scientific Council are:

  • Carrie E. Bearden, Ph.D., UCLA
  • Antonello Bonci, M.D., National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH)
  • Edward Thomas Bullmore, Ph.D., University of Cambridge
  • Tyrone D. Cannon, Ph.D., Yale University
  • Z. Jeff Daskalakis, M.D., Ph.D., Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Kelvin Lim, M.D., University of Minnesota
  • Stephen Maren, Ph.D., Texas A&M
  • Victoria Risbrough, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Laura M. Rowland, Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • Vikaas Sohal, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Flora M. Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D., Yale University
  • Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D., Columbia University

The Foundation’s Scientific Council includes two Nobel Prizewinners; two former directors and the current director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); four recipients of the National Medal of Science; 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences; 27 chairs of psychiatry and neuroscience departments at leading medical institutions; and 52 members of the Institute of Medicine.

“The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is always a critical source of private funding and especially at a time when future prospects of government funding for scientific research are uncertain,” says Dr. Pardes. “It offers scientists opportunities to conduct important, novel and clinically relevant studies that are not being funded through the traditional NIMH mechanisms because of a shortage of money and, in some cases, risk aversion.”

The Foundation’s successful model helps scientists throughout their careers: Young Investigator Grants support scientists at the advanced post-doctoral or assistant professor (or equivalent) level for up to $35,000/year for two years; Independent Investigator Grants, provide $50,000 per year for two years during the critical period between the initiation of research and the receipt of sustained funding; and Distinguished Investigator Grants support scientists at the full professor (or equivalent) level for up to $100,000 for one year.

While scientists can often receive several Foundation grants, the grants make the largest impact in the career of young scientists: recipients of Young Investigator grants received an average of 11 to 19 times the original grant amount in subsequent funding.

Click here to read more about our new Scientific Council Members and hear why they agreed to join the Council.