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Jill Glausier, PhD Selected for NARSAD Young Investigator Award

Dr. Jill Glausier, an Instructor in Dr. David Lewis’ lab, was selected to receive a two-year NARSAD Young Investigator Award, funded by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by raising funds from donor contributions to award grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. It was previously known as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). The Scientific Council selects the most promising ideas for NARSAD Grants to Young, Independent and Distinguished Investigators. A NARSAD Grant is one of the highest distinctions in the field of mental health research. Many investigators go on to receive larger federal and private grants based on their NARSAD Grant projects.

In her project, titled, “The Relationship between Excitatory Deficits and Oxidative Phosphorylation in Schizophrenia,” Dr. Glausier will study the underlying mechanisms of working memory in order to identify novel therapeutic targets for patients with schizophrenia. Working memory is a core cognitive function impaired in schizophrenia that depends upon activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuitry. People with schizophrenia show reduced PFC activation while performing working memory tasks, but the underlying mechanism causing reduced activity is unknown. This research focuses on determining whether reduced excitation in a key neural microcircuit for working memory contributes to lower PFC activation in schizophrenia. By determining whether and how this microcircuit is altered in people with schizophrenia, Dr. Glausier hopes to identify rational and novel targets for future therapeutics.
 
Silvio O. Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research
Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (MH103204)

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