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Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR)


The Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR) plans, supports, and administers programs of research, research training, and resource development aimed at understanding the pathophysiology of mental illness and hastening the translation of behavioral science and neuroscience advances into innovations in clinical care. The Division supports a broad research portfolio, which includes studies of the phenotypic characterization and risk factors for major psychiatric disorders; clinical neuroscience to elucidate etiology and pathophysiology of these disorders; and psychosocial, psychopharmacologic, and somatic treatment development. In addition, the Division supports an integrated program to clarify the psychopathology and underlying pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders of late life and to develop new treatments for these disorders. The focus of DATR is to support research on the etiology and pathophysiology of mental illness in order to:

  • Define predictors and understand the mechanism of treatment response.
  • Create and refine biomarkers, behavioral assessments, and phenotypic characterizations of disease.
  • Evaluate existing therapeutics for new indications, and, in collaboration with academic, industry, and regulatory agencies, hasten the development of more effective new treatments for mental illness.

For the Division and each program we also provide Areas of High Priority and Areas of Emphasis. In addition, we continue to encourage innovative applications in any area relevant to the mission of the Institute.

Areas of High Priority

  • Delineate specific neural circuits contributing to one or more major mental disorders or subtypes of mental disorders.
  • Develop, test, and validate biological markers (e.g., genetic, proteomic, imaging) for diagnosing or detecting risk/vulnerability, onset, progression, and/or severity of adult mental disorders.
  • Develop models to predict treatment response and vulnerability to side effects of psychotropic medications and approaches to prevent or ameliorate treatment-emergent side effects, e.g., delineate the mechanisms through which specific psychotropic medications produce adverse metabolic and cardiovascular events, and begin to develop models to predict which patients are at high risk for developing these complications.
  • Identify mechanisms (e.g., genetic, biological, behavioral, environmental) that confer vulnerability to psychiatric illnesses and develop early interventions (pharmacological and/or psychosocial) for reducing the severity and incidence of psychopathology.
  • Evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel mechanism pharmacological agents and/or behavioral interventions that target domains of psychopathology inadequately addressed by current therapies or prevention strategies.
  • Develop, test, and validate methods to assess domains of psychopathology for use in clinical trials in order to increase the efficiency of the mental illness treatment development critical path, emphasizing approaches based on partnerships with the FDA and industry.


Bruce Cuthbert, Ph. D.
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 7123, MSC 9632

Deputy Director

Jill Heemskerk, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 7127, MSC 9632