Junior Faculty Members Receive Research Grants

Two Division Faculty Members Receive 2012 NARSAD Young Investigator Awards

New York, NY
 – July 24, 2012 /Press Release/  –– 

Dr. Hirofumi Morishita and Dr. Kristen Brennand were each recently awarded the 2012 NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to pursue the following ideas.

Hirofumi Morishita, MD, PhD - Dr. Morishita has formed a hypothesis that links the onset of schizophrenia to two major developmental events: maturation of GABAergic inhibitory circuits and myelination. He and his team seek to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating this novel GABA-myelin link during development and determine if it is disrupted in animal models and postmortem brains of people with schizophrenia.

Kristen J. Brennand, PhD - Dr. Brennand will create models of schizophrenia by reprogramming skin-cell samples from schizophrenia patients and healthy controls into stem cells that will then be induced to differentiate into defined sub-populations of neurons. Cellular and molecular differences between the neurons derived from patients and from controls can then be identified, addressing the unanswered question of which types of neurons are most affected in schizophrenia. The tools developed in this research could serve as the basis for screening new drug treatments.

Congratulations Drs. Morishita and Brennand!