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Clinical Neuroscience Research Branch


The Clinical Neuroscience Research Branch supports programs of research, research training, and resource development aimed at understanding the neural basis of mental disorders. Specifically supported are human and animal studies on the molecular, cellular, and systems level of brain function designed to elucidate the pathophysiology of mental disease and to translate these findings to clinical diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. These approaches are applied to a spectrum of mental disorders including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and other brain disorders. The Branch incorporates the Clinical Neuroscience Centers Program, which is focused on translational research. The Silvio O. Conte Centers for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders support hypothesis-driven, interdisciplinary research centers, each of which brings the best scientific talent and resources from multiple disciplines and perspectives to address specific questions directly relevant to complex mental disorders.

Branch Chief

Steven J. Zalcman, M.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7123, MSC 9639

Areas of Emphasis

  • Identification of valid and unique neurophysiological markers or complex(es) of markers for the major mental and personality disorders.
  • Development of animal and/or computational models that accurately mimic complex neurophysiology or behaviors characteristic of mental illness.
  • Comparisons between CNS characteristics of mental disorders and "other" brain disorders sharing specific abnormal behaviors or symptoms.
  • Examination of how complex interactions between neural signaling systems may readjust behavior from functional to dysfunctional.
  • Promotion of the application of exploratory but potentially relevant neuroscience areas to the study of mental disorders.