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Two CSHL Post-Docs Receive NARSAD Young Investigator Awards

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Sandra J. Kuhlman, Ph.D., and Eleonore Real, Ph.D., were recently selected by NARSAD: The Mental Health Research Association to each receive a 2006 Young Investigator Award.

NARSAD is the world’s leading donor-supported organization dedicated to funding research on psychiatric disorders. Drs. Kuhlman and Real are two of 206 early-career scientists in the United States and abroad who will receive a total of $11.6 million this year from NARSAD to advance their research of mental illnesses. They were chosen from a pool of 789 applicants.

Dr. Kuhlman will receive $60,000 from NARSAD for the next two years to study in an animal model how changes in GABAergic synapses in the prefrontal cortex play a role in memory impairment in people with schizophrenia. Dr. Real will receive $60,000 from NARSAD for the next two years to study glutamate receptor trafficking and synaptic plasticity, since glutamate abnormalities have been implicated in psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression.

NARSAD’s 2006 Young Investigator Award recipients are involved in a wide variety of novel research projects, ranging from the genetics of mental illness to treatment assessments. Their work should bring new scientific insight to such conditions as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety and autism, and other disorders that affect adults and children.

“ The scientists whom NARSAD chooses to support represent the best in the field and are pursuing the most innovative and promising research,” said Constance E. Lieber, president of NARSAD. “Their work will continue to accelerate progress in the study of all areas of psychiatric disorders.”

“ NARSAD’s Young Investigator awards attract emerging talent to the field and expand the research potential for mental health,” added Herbert Pardes, M.D., president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, who is also president of NARSAD’s Scientific Council. The council, comprised of 89 prominent leaders in mental health research, reviews the project proposals NARSAD receives and makes funding recommendations.

NARSAD created the Young Investigator Award to help promising scientists entering research—i.e. post-doctoral fellows, advanced standing medical residents and assistant professors—to generate pilot data necessary for larger grants. NARSAD also annually offers a Distinguished Investigator Award, supporting innovative research by full professors or their equivalent with $100,000 one-year grants, and the Independent Investigator Award, providing two-year grants of $100,000 to mid-career scientists, such as associate professors or their equivalent.

NARSAD: The Mental Health Research Association raises funds to advance research on the causes, treatment and prevention of psychiatric disorders. Founded as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, it is the largest donor-supported organization in the world devoted to funding scientific research on psychiatric brain and behavior disorders. Since 1987, NARSAD has given more than $194 million in grants to 2,264 scientists at 340 universities and medical research institutions throughout the United States and in 23 other countries. For additional information on the work of NARSAD, the research it supports and various psychiatric disorders, visit the organization’s website at

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, non-profit research institution with a strong educational mission. Under the leadership of President Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), more than 330 scientists at the Laboratory conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, and bioinformatics. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is one of the top rated National Cancer Institute-designated research centers in the U.S.

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