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article imageBroad Institute's groundbreaking announcement on psychiatric research Commissioned

Commissioned Content
By David Silverberg     Jul 22, 2014 in Science
This announcement, available via a live broadcast from the Broad Institute, unveiled details about $650 million of funding to galvanize psychiatric research, thanks to a commitment from philanthropist Ted Stanley.
As a press release states, "The Stanley commitment – the largest ever in psychiatric research and among the largest for scientific research in general – will support research by a collaborative network of researchers within the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute, a biomedical research institution that brings together faculty from MIT, Harvard University, the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and collaborators worldwide."
Logo for the Cambridge-based Broad Institute
Logo for the Cambridge-based Broad Institute
Via Broad Institute
The mission of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute, based in Cambridge, MA, is to ease the burden of psychiatric disorders through research.
The Stanley Center has "extensive collaborations with investigators both within the local Harvard, MIT, and Harvard-affiliated hospital communities and more broadly across the world," its website explains.
The Stanley Center can harness advanced technologies for human genetic analysis to study psychiatric disorders. The Center has thus far "identified more than one hundred genetic loci (places in human genomes) that increase the risk of schizophrenia," as the site notes.
Psychiatric research remains a critical focus for the Stanley Center. Its page on the Broad Institute site remarks: "Despite the public health significance of these disorders and the distress they cause, progress on much needed new treatments has slowed to a near standstill because knowledge of disease mechanisms remains scant."
Speaking on advances in psychiatric research, Stanley said: “Human genomics has begun to reveal the causes of these disorders. We still have a long way to go, but for the first time we can point to specific genes and biological processes. It’s now time to step on the gas pedal. I am devoting my personal wealth to this goal. But it will take all of us – philanthropists, government funding agencies, scientists, patients, and families – working together to achieve it.”
Tuesday's announcement ran from 10 a.m. ET to 10:45 a.m. ET, and the above video is available for viewing.
More about broad institute, Mental health, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Psychiatry, Mental illness