Le Foundation Supports Psychiatry Neuroimaging Research

Thanks to a generous grant from The Iris & Junming Le Foundation, young scientists will have the resources they need to pilot new neuroimaging research projects

The Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine has received a $250,000 gift from The Iris & Junming Le Foundation to advance neuroimaging research conducted by young scientists in the early stages of their careers. The donation will provide up to six grants between $35,000 and $45,000 for psychiatric neuroimaging pilot projects over the next two years. The goal is to advance researchers' understanding of the etiology of major psychiatric disorders and identify new treatment strategies for patients.

"We are extraordinarily grateful to Dr. Le and his wife, Iris, for their support," says Wayne K. Goodman, MD, Chairman and the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai. "There is a pressing need to develop more effective treatments for major psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Thanks to this generous donation, we can better explore the neurocircuitry that contributes to these disorders, and ultimately use that knowledge to develop new therapies."

Major psychiatric disorders are thought to result from dysfunction within specific neural systems in the brain that govern a multitude of processes related to cognition and emotion. Using neuroimaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), researchers in the Department of Psychiatry hope to characterize how these neural systems function under different experimental conditions in patients with psychiatric disorders.

"Supporting research that is led by talented biomedical professionals will drive therapeutic discovery and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from psychiatric disorders," says Junming Le, PhD, Chairman of the Le Foundation and Adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology at New York University. "It is our pleasure to contribute to the critical investigations being conducted in Mount Sinai's Department of Psychiatry."