The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has announced the latest recipients of its NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grants. The highly competitive grants provide support for experienced investigators (full professor or equivalent) conducting neurobiological and behavioral research. One-year grants of $100,000 each are provided for established scientists pursuing particularly innovative project ideas in diverse areas of brain and behavior research.
Annual selections were made by members of the Foundation’s Scientific Council, a volunteer group of 147 leaders in brain and behavior research. This year’s fifteen established investigators, selected from 200 applicants, include a number utilizing new technologies, such as advanced brain imaging, optogenetics and stem cell technology. Others will work toward identifying new targets for next-generation therapies, through greater understanding of genetic risk factors and dysregulation in brain circuitry. Yet another novel project aims to collect data on firearms injury and mortality among adults with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression in an effort to spur public policy reform with regard to gun violence among the mentally ill.
“One of the most important set of research awards in all of neuroscience is the NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation,” commented Jack Barchas, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College, a Scientific Council member and Chair of the Distinguished Investigator Grant Selection Committee. “An exciting aspect of the awards is the degree to which they either attempt to answer an important question or help to identify new potentially game-changing targets for treatment. Even in the best of funding times they have been extremely important …Now they are absolutely essential for seed funding for new directions which would otherwise be impossible.”