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Director’s Report to the National Advisory Mental Health Council - February 13, 2009


I am pleased to welcome members of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) and other participants and guests to our 220th Council meeting. Since our last meeting in September, we have made progress on several fronts, which I share with you in this report.

NIH-Wide Update

Changes to Peer Review
Enhancements to the NIH peer review system are now underway. NIH has been setting the stage for these changes with staff and the broader scientific research community through communications such as policy notices in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, briefings to NIH Councils, training for NIH staff, press releases, newsletter articles, and Listserv communications. In addition to providing these resources, the Enhancing Peer Review Web site  is regularly updated, and a dedicated email box for questions from the public has been created. Scientific Review Officers have been communicating with reviewers and preparing them for the training they will receive as the spring review meetings commence. An overview of the implementation timetable  is also available online.

In January 2009, NIH added the new Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) reports to the RePORT Web site . RCDC is a computerized process that NIH uses at the end of each fiscal year (FY) to sort and report the amount it funded in each of 215 historically reported categories of disease, condition, or research area. RCDC provides consistent and transparent information to the public about NIH-funded research. For the first time, a complete list of all NIH-funded projects related to each category is available. By clicking on each of the categories, the public can access full project listings for that category and view, print, or download the detailed report.

Some funding amounts that RCDC reports might differ from NIH reports issued in the past, due to a new sorting method used by RCDC. However, the way NIH budgets and spends tax dollars throughout the year stays the same. Further information on RCDC efforts  is also available.

NIH Roadmap—Selected Updates
The NIH Roadmap  is a trans-NIH effort to support innovative science, stimulate interdisciplinary research, and reshape clinical research to accelerate medical discovery and improve public health. Workgroups co-chaired by the Directors of NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) and populated by nominees from various Institutes developed initiatives for “Roadmap 1.5,” which can be viewed online. The following are projects co-led by NIMH:

Molecular Libraries Program (MLP)
The NIH Roadmap Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network (MLPCN), the flagship project of the MLP is a full-scale production program emphasizing the generation of high quality probes and biological and chemical data for high-value targets. The diversified, multi-disciplinary research portfolio requests a high level of operations management capabilities. Since its establishment in September 2008, the new network of nine centers has been successfully integrated with other Roadmap components, such as PubChem, Molecular Libraries Small Molecule Repository (MLSMR), and the Assay Development initiative.

Highlights for the MLP include:

  • Uploaded biomolecular screening data to PubChem BioAssay for 914 PubChem assay IDs, including 329 primary assays, 515 confirmatory assays for 601 protein targets, allowing public access to the data
  • Developed and submitted 70 probe reports to the MLP Web site
  • Published 130 papers directly related to the discovery of the novel chemical probes as research tools
  • Received full set of 300,000 compounds from MLSMR at all MLPCN centers and accepted 89 assigned assays from the Assay Solicitation initiative and Fast-track program. The newly established MLPCN has become productive and reached its year one goal of assay assignment.

Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS)  have shown great promise in identifying genetic loci associated with common human diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and psychiatric conditions. Despite this progress, the majority of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and other genetic changes lie outside of the protein-coding regions of genes and often even outside of the genes themselves, making it difficult to discern which genes underlie the association and by what mechanism.

The GTEx project  aims to provide a resource to the scientific community with which to study the relationship between genetic variation and human gene expression and regulation. This project will collect and analyze multiple human tissues from donors who have been characterized for germline genetic variation through dense genotyping. Comprehensive identification of variations in gene expression in different tissues that are highly correlated with genetic variation will provide a valuable basis on which to study gene regulation, with an immediate application in interpreting GWAS study findings.

The GTEx project will begin with a 2.5- to 3-year pilot in FY 2010. As developed at a June 2008 GTEx Workshop, the primary goal of the pilot is to assess the feasibility of enrolling 160 donors identified through low post-mortem interval autopsy or organ transplant settings and collecting high-quality RNA from 30 or more tissues per donor.

NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research
The Neuroscience Blueprint  is a framework to enhance cooperation among the 15 NIH ICs that support research on the nervous system and the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Created in 2004, the Blueprint now has more than 20 project teams steering a variety of initiatives that provide tools, resources, and training to the neuroscience research community in ways that cut across boundaries of individual ICs. The Blueprint will focus on neural development in 2008 and neural plasticity in 2009, with plans to continue the Blueprint initiative beyond FY 2009. Since September, several activities under the Blueprint have moved forward, including:

FY 2009 NIH Blueprint Initiatives
Neuroplasticity Circuit Retraining Team

  • Team Leader: Judy Rumsey, NIMH
    As a follow-up to the Neuroplasticity Workshop held in August 2007, a Blueprint Circuit Retraining Project Team was formed to explore ways of translating plasticity research to clinical applications. The team is focusing on circuit-level plasticity to restore or improve function following central nervous system (CNS) injury or diseases as diverse as traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neurodegenerative disorders, addiction, and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. They are planning a workshop titled “Harnessing neuroplasticity for human applications” for April 2009. A Circuit Retraining Project team, consisting of 12 extramural program staff from eight NIH Institutes, has formed to further explore the priorities from the previous neuroplasticity workshop in the context of neural trauma and disease and to promote research opportunities for translating plasticity research to human applications. Meeting regularly since early 2008, this team has conducted portfolio analyses for circuit retraining from each participating IC and explored opportunities for advancing research in this area.

FY 2008 NIH Blueprint Initiatives
Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse and Supplementary Initiatives

  • Team leaders: James Luo, National Institute of Biomedical Informatics and Bioengineering (NIBIB); Zohara Cohen, NIBIB
    Many neuroimaging tools and databases are underused because they are not user-friendly or easily adoptable. The Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC) initiative intends to establish a clearinghouse for disseminating neuroimaging tools and resources as well as receiving community feedback on the utility and limitations of the resources. Since the first release of NITRC in October 2007, more than 400 new features and functions have been implemented. The NITRC Web site  received more than 385,857 hits with 3,662 unique hosts, representing a 61 percent increase over last quarter. The number of site-wide posts and discussions on the forum has increased 18 percent, reaching 468 posts. In FY 2008, eight administrative supplement requests and five R03s were awarded.

Development of the NIH Toolbox for Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function

  • Team leader: Molly Wagster, National Institute on Aging (NIA)
    Many studies collect data on cognitive, sensory, and/or motor aspects of neural function, but there is little uniformity among the measures used. Thus, it is difficult to compare or compile data across studies. Since September 2006, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, with Richard Gershon as the primary investigator, is working under the contract mechanism to develop neurological and behavioral measurements appropriate for a variety of project types, particularly longitudinal epidemiologic studies and prevention or intervention trials.

    In January 2008, Molly Wagster organized a meeting with the Project Officers/Program Officers of other NIH measurement projects (i.e., PROMIS, NeuroQOL) in anticipation of developing a consortium that could serve the common interests and future needs of the groups. This group, the NIH Assessment Consortium, meets quarterly. The Web site for the NIH Toolbox .

NIMH Update

Progress on NIMH Strategic Plan
NIMH publicly released a Strategic Plan last fall detailing the Institute's priorities and strategic objectives for the near future. Extramural and intramural staff are currently engaged in efforts to identify outputs and outcomes for each objective described in the Strategic Plan. NIMH will review this work over two Strategic Objectives Report-Out sessions, the first of which will be held on February 27, 2009. In addition, the Institute is involved in educating grantees, reviewers, and the public about the NIMH Strategic Plan; setting priorities for funding; increasing the number of Requests for Applications (RFAs) issued; and increasing accountability.

New Initiatives Launched
NIMH, U.S. Army Sign MOA to Conduct Groundbreaking Suicide Research

NIMH and the U.S. Army entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to conduct research that will help the Army reduce the rate of suicides. The MOA allows for a $50-million, multi-year study on suicide and suicidal behavior among soldiers, across all phases of Army service. It will be the largest single study on the subject of suicide that NIMH has ever undertaken. In January 2009, the RFA “Collaborative Study of Suicidality and Mental Health in the U.S. Army” was issued under the U01 funding mechanism to solicit applications for an epidemiologic study of mental health, psychological resilience, suicide risk, suicide-related behaviors, and suicide deaths in the U.S. Army. Applications are due by April 4, 2009.

Consortium Moves Quickly to Study Resilience Following Hurricane Ike

A consortium of research programs funded by NIMH to conduct post-disaster mental health research mobilized this year following Hurricane Ike to study the factors that influence resilience after disasters. Over time, the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research plans to expand its efforts to include studies focused on children and older adults, and cross-cultural research.

Study Probes Environment-Triggered Genetic Changes in Schizophrenia

Andrew Feinberg, M.D., MPH, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues at four other universities launched the first study of its kind to pinpoint environment-triggered genetic changes in schizophrenia with $9.8 million in funding from NIMH. The five-site study seeks telltale marks in the genome that hold clues to how nurture interacts with nature to produce the illness.

Sequencing the Autism Genome
In collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the NHGRI sequencing centers, and the Broad Institute, NIMH has launched a deep sequencing effort to identify rare genetic variants associated with autism. In an initial pilot phase, 50 genes selected as probable candidates from 500 patients and their parents will be sequenced at Washington University. NIMH has funded Mark Daly, Ph.D., from the Broad Institute, to conduct the statistical analysis for this study. After this initial pilot is completed, the researchers plan to extend the number of patients for this study to approximately 3,000 patients and their parents by including samples from the Boston Autism Consortium, the Autism Genome Project, and the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs (IRP). In addition, the expanded project will also increase the number of candidate genes for deep sequencing to approximately 500.

New NIMH Initiatives Solicited

NIMH-Administered RFAs

  • Exploratory Studies of Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cells from Healthy and Mental Health
    Patient Populations
    NIMH invites Phased Innovation (R21/R33) grant applications from organizations and institutions that propose to generate and characterize iPS cells from human control and/or patient populations with cognitive, affective, or social disorders. This RFA seeks to address a gap in understanding fundamental molecular and cellular defects and the role of altered developmental processes in these disorders.
    Release/Posted Date: November 14, 2008; Expiration Date: February 28, 2009
    NIH GUIDE version of this R21/R33 announcement (RFA-MH-09-130) 
    Scientific Program Director: David M. Panchision, Ph.D., Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS), NIMH

Collaborative RFAs

  • Integrated Preclinical/Clinical Program for HIV Topical Microbicides (IPCP-HTM)
    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and NIMH invite applications from single institutions and consortia of institutions to participate in the IPCP-HTM. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support integrated and iterative multi-project, multi-disciplinary preclinical and exploratory clinical studies with the goal of advancing safe, novel, topical microbicides and microbicide combination strategies for the prevention of sexual transmission of HIV.
    Release Date: Novembeer 28, 2008; Expiration Date: March 14, 2009
    NIH GUIDE version of this U19 announcement (RFA-AI-08-057) 
    Scientific Program Director: Jim A. Turpin, Ph.D., Division of AIDS, NIAID
  • Development and Translation of Medical Technologies that Reduce Health Disparities
    This FOA solicits Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns to develop and translate medical technologies aimed at reducing disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes. Appropriate medical technologies should be effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and deliverable to those who need them. NIMH is collaborating with NIBIB, the National Center for Mental Health Disparities (NCMHD), and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) on this FOA.
    Release/Posted Date: December 16, 2008; Expiration Date: January 8, 2010
    NIH GUIDE version of this SBIR R43/R44 announcement (RFA-EB-09-001) 
    Scientific Program Director: Todd Merchak, Program Specialist, NIBIB
  • Pharmacogenomics Research Network
    The purpose of this FOA is to enable new and renewal applications to compete for support as research groups in the Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN)  and to establish network resource components that will serve the entire PGRN. The PGRN is a consortium of interdisciplinary groups with a core mission to conduct research into understanding the genetic/genomic basis of variable drug responses, both therapeutic and adverse. The proposed research programs should include efforts not only to identify the genes, pathways, and systems that produce inter-individual differences in drug responses, but also to establish the mechanistic basis of these differences. Participating ICs include NIMH, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the Eunice Kennedy ShriverNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
    Release Date: January 30, 2009; Expiration Date: June 3, 2009 NIH GUIDE version of this U01/U19 announcement (RFA-GM-10-001) 
    Scientific Program Director: Rochelle M. Long, Ph.D., Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry Division, NIGMS

Science of Note

Depression Relapse Less Likely Among Teens Who Receive CBT After Medication Therapy
December 5, 2008 · Science Update

Adolescents with major depression who received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) after responding to an antidepressant were less likely to experience a relapse or recurrence of symptoms compared to teens who did not receive CBT. This pilot study demonstrates that, as in adult studies, introducing CBT after a patient responds to antidepressant treatment may be a promising strategy for preventing relapse among depressed adolescents.
Kennard BD, Emslie GJ, Mayes TL, Nightingale-Teresi J, Nakonezny PA, Hughes JL, Jones JM, Tao R, Stewart SM, Jarrett RB. Cognitive-behavioral therapy to prevent relapse in pediatric responders to pharmacotherapy for major depressive disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2008 Dec;47(12):1395-404.
PMID: 18978634

Study Identifies Three Effective Treatments for Childhood Anxiety Disorders
October 30, 2008 · Press Release

Treatment that combines a certain type of psychotherapy with an antidepressant medication is most likely to help children with anxiety disorders, but each of the treatments alone is also effective. The Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS) results add more evidence that high-quality CBT, with or without medication, can effectively treat anxiety disorders in children.
Walkup JT, Albano AM, Piacentini J, Birmaher B, Compton SN, Sherrill JT, Ginsburg GS, Rynn MA, McCracken J, Waslick B, Iyengar S, March JS, Kendall PC. Cognitive behavioral therapy, sertraline, or a combination in childhood anxiety. N Engl J Med. 2008 Dec 25;359(26):2753-66.
PMID: 18974308

Certain Antipsychotic Medications May Increase Risk for Heart Disease
October 16, 2008 · Science Update

Certain atypical antipsychotic medications may raise the risk for heart disease in people with schizophrenia, according to an analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE). The researchers suggest that clinicians consider the relative cardiovascular risks associated with each antipsychotic medication, especially when choosing treatments for older patients and those with existing cardiovascular risk factors.
Daumit GL, Goff DC, Meyer JM, Davis VG, Nasrallah HA, McEvoy JP, Rosenheck R, Davis SM, Hsiao JK, Stroup TS, Lieberman JA. Antipsychotic effects on estimated 10-year coronary heart disease risk in the CATIE schizophrenia study. Schizophr Res. 2008 Oct;105(1-3):175-87.
PMID: 18775645

Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Drug in Treating Child and Adolescent Schizophrenia
September 15, 2008 · Press Release

Two newer atypical antipsychotic medications were no more effective than an older conventional antipsychotic in treating child and adolescent schizophrenia and may lead to more metabolic side effects. The researchers noted that the six-year, multisite Treatment of Early Onset Schizophrenia Study (TEOSS) provides the first documented evidence of how these medications compare when treating this population.
Sikich L, Frazier JA, McClellan J, Findling RL, Vitiello B, Ritz L, Ambler D, Puglia M, Maloney AE, Michael E, De Jong S, Slifka K, Noyes N, Hlastala S, Pierson L, McNamara NK, Delporto-Bedoya D, Anderson R, Hamer RM, Lieberman JA. Double-blind comparison of first- and second-generation antipsychotics in early-onset schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder: findings from the treatment of early-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders (TEOSS) study. Am J Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;165(11):1420-31.
PMID: 18794207

Intervention Helps Reduce Risky Sexual Behavior Among Homeless HIV-positive Adults
December 16, 2008 · Science Update

The Healthy Living Program, an NIMH-funded intervention already shown to reduce risky sexual and substance abuse behavior among HIV-infected adults, also appears to be effective in improving the lives of HIV-infected homeless or near-homeless adults.
Rotheram-Borus MJ, Desmond K, Comulada WS, Arnold EM, Johnson M, Healthy Living Trial Group. Reducing Risky Sexual Behavior and Substance Use Among Currently and Formerly Homeless Adults Living With HIV. Am J Public Health. 2008 Sep 17. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 18799777

Brain's Wiring Stunted, Lopsided in Childhood Onset Schizophrenia
October 30, 2008 · Science Update

Growth of the brain's long distance connections, called white matter, is stunted and lopsided in children who develop psychosis before puberty, NIMH researchers have discovered. They found that the yearly growth rate of white matter was up to 2.2 percent slower-than-normal in such childhood onset schizophrenia. The slower the rate, the worse the outcome, suggesting that this magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measure could someday lead to development of a biomarker that could aid treatment.
Gogtay N, Lu A, Leow AD, Klunder AD, Lee AD, Chavez A, Greenstein D, Giedd JN,Toga AW, Rapoport JL, Thompson PM. Three-dimensional brain growth abnormalities in childhood-onset schizophrenia visualized by using tensor-based morphometry. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Oct 14;105(41):15979-84.
PMID: 18852461

Lack of Eye Contact May Predict Level of Social Disability in Two-Year Olds with Autism
October 23, 2008 · Science Update

By age 2, children with autism show unusual patterns of eye contact compared with typically developing children. This symptom appears to be related to a child's level of impairment and may be a useful biomarker for diagnosing autism at an earlier age.
Jones W, Carr K, Klin A. Absence of preferential looking to the eyes of approaching adults predicts level of social disability in 2-year-old toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Aug;65(8):946-54.
PMID: 18678799

Emotion-Regulating Circuit Weakened in Borderline Personality Disorder
October 2, 2008 · Science Update

Differences in the working tissue of the brain, called grey matter, have been linked to impaired functioning of an emotion-regulating circuit in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). People with BPD had excess grey matter in a fear hub deep in the brain, which over-activated when they viewed scary faces. By contrast, the hub's regulator near the front of the brain was deficient in grey matter and underactive, effectively taking the brakes off a runaway fear response, suggested researchers supported in part by NIMH.
Minzenberg MJ, Fan J, New AS, Tang CY, Siever LJ. Fronto-limbic dysfunction in response to facial emotion in borderline personality disorder: an event-related fMRI study. Psychiatry Res. 2007 Aug 15;155(3):231-43.
PMID: 17601709

Minzenberg MJ, Fan J, New AS, Tang CY, Siever LJ. Frontolimbic structural changes in borderline personality disorder. J Psychiatr Res. 2008 Jul;42(9):727-33.
PMID: 17825840

Why “My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went”
September 15, 2008 · Science Update

If, as the song laments, our “get up and go” fades as we get older, it may stem from aging-related changes in a brain reward circuit. Compared to young participants, older participants showed less activity in brain motivation hubs while they viewed a slot machine-like video game and received money in a NIMH brain imaging study.
Dreher JC, Meyer-Lindenberg A, Kohn P, Berman KF. Age-related changes in midbrain dopaminergic regulation of the human reward system. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 Sep 30;105(39):15106-11.
PMID: 18794529

Millisecond Brain Signals Predict Response to Fast-Acting Antidepressant
October 2, 2008 · Press Release

Images of the brain's fastest signals reveal an electromagnetic marker that predicts a patient's response to a fast-acting antidepressant, NIMH researchers have discovered. Such biomarkers that identify who will benefit from a new class of antidepressants could someday minimize trial-and-error prescribing and speed delivery of care for what can be a life-threatening illness.
Salvadore G, Cornwell BR, Colon-Rosario V, Coppola R, Grillon C, Zarate CA Jr, Manji HK. Increased Anterior Cingulate Cortical Activity in Response to Fearful Faces: A Neurophysiological Biomarker that Predicts Rapid Antidepressant Response to Ketamine. Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Feb 15;65(4):289-95.
PMID: 18822408

Cells May Provide Target for New Anxiety Medications
November 6, 2008 · Science Update

A specific population of brain cells, called intercalated neurons, could provide a target for developing new medications aimed at helping people learn to mute the fears underlying anxiety disorders, according to NIMH-supported scientists. Research suggests that these cells may form a relay between centers that process sensory information and shape the fear response in the amygdala, a brain area involved in emotional learning.
Likhtik E, Popa D, Apergis-Schoute J, Fidacaro GA, Paré D. Amygdala intercalated neurons are required for expression of fear extinction. Nature. 2008 Jul 31;454(7204):642-5.
PMID: 18615014

Gene Variants Force Mental Trade-offs: Efficiency vs. Resiliency
September 15, 2008 · Science Update

Mice genetically engineered to have an over active version of a human gene, like their human counterparts, gain in emotional mettle under stress, but at a cost of less efficient thinking, NIMH scientists have discovered. The new study in mice confirms and helps to explain the trade-offs seen in earlier studies in humans, which have suggested that the over active gene version slightly biases the brain's workings toward increased risk for schizophrenia.
Papaleo F, Crawley JN, Song J, Lipska BK, Pickel J, Weinberger DR, Chen J. Genetic dissection of the role of catechol-O-methyltransferase in cognition and stress reactivity in mice. J Neurosci. 2008 Aug 27;28(35):8709-23.
PMID: 18753372

Study Examines the Prevalence and Impact of Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism
September 24, 2008 · Science Update

A new study examines the characteristics of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) who also have gastrointestinal problems. The researchers' findings do not support the idea that gastrointestinal problems are more common in children with PDD or associated with specific characteristics of PDD. More research is needed to determine how these two issues may be related.
Nikolov RN, Bearss KE, Lettinga J, Erickson C, Rodowski M, Aman MG, McCracken JT, McDougle CJ, Tierney E, Vitiello B, Arnold LE, Shah B, Posey DJ, Ritz L, Scahill L. Gastrointestinal Symptoms in a Sample of Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 Sep 13. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 18791817

Long-term Academic Effects of Child's ADHD May Extend to Siblings
December 2, 2008 · Science Update

The long-term academic problems that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often experience may affect their siblings as well, according to an analysis partially funded by NIMH. The study showed that the academic performances of both the ADHD child and his or her siblings even out over the long term and helped to illustrate why there seem to be few long-term differences in academic achievements between a child with ADHD and his or her siblings.
Fletcher J, Wolfe B. Child mental health and human capital accumulation: the case of ADHD revisited. J Health Econ. 2008 May;27(3):794-800.
PMID: 18221807

Symptoms Persist as Bipolar Children Grow Up
October 27, 2008 · Science Update

Bipolar disorder (BD) identified in childhood often persisted into adulthood in the first large follow-up study of its kind. The study adds to mounting evidence for the legitimacy of the diagnosis of BD in children, and reflects the “field's continuing efforts to nurture developmental conceptualizations of psychiatric illnesses,” notes an accompanying editorial.
Geller B, Tillman R, Bolhofner K, Zimerman B. Child bipolar I disorder: prospective continuity with adult bipolar I disorder; characteristics of second and third episodes; predictors of 8-year outcome. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Oct;65(10):1125-33.
PMID: 18838629

Leibenluft E. Pediatric bipolar disorder comes of age. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Oct;65(10):1122-4.
PMID: 18838628

Impaired Brain Activity Underlies Impulsive Behaviors in Women with Bulimia
January 12, 2009 · Science Update

Women with bulimia nervosa, when compared with healthy women, showed different patterns of brain activity while doing a task that required self-regulation. This abnormality may underlie binge eating and other impulsive behaviors that occur with the eating disorder.
Marsh R, Steinglass JE, Gerber AJ, Graziano O'Leary K, Wang Z, Murphy D, Walsh BT, Peterson BS. Deficient activity in the neural systems that mediate self-regulatory control in bulimia nervosa. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;66(1):51-63.
PMID: 19124688

Viral Genetic Underpinnings of HIV-associated Dementia Explored
October 9, 2008 · Science Update

NIMH-funded researchers conducted the first study to use mouse models to identify the role of HIV genetic variants in the development of HIV-associated dementia (HAD). Their findings demonstrate that viral genetic differences can affect the severity of HAD and provide proof of differences between genetic variants in HIV.
Rao VR, Sas AR, Eugenin EA, Siddappa NB, Bimonte-Nelson H, Berman JW, Ranga U, Tyor WR, Prasad VR. HIV-1 clade-specific differences in the induction of neuropathogenesis. J Neurosci. 2008 Oct 1;28(40):10010-6.
PMID: 18829958

Genomic Dragnet Finds Clues to Likely Suspects in Alzheimer's
November 6, 2008 · Science Update

In the first study of its kind, researchers have pinpointed four genes likely to be associated with risk for the most common, late-onset form of Alzheimer's disease, including a very strong candidate on chromosome 14. The three weaker association signals were in known genes previously linked to response to bacterial infections, communications between neurons, and another neurodegenerative disorder called spinocerebellar ataxia 1.
Bertram L, Lange C, Mullin K, Parkinson M, Hsiao M, Hogan MF, Schjeide BM, Hooli B, Divito J, Ionita I, Jiang H, Laird N, Moscarillo T, Ohlsen KL, Elliott K, Wang X, Hu-Lince D, Ryder M, Murphy A, Wagner SL, Blacker D, Becker KD, Tanzi RE. Genome-wide association analysis reveals putative Alzheimer's disease susceptibility loci in addition to APOE. Am J Hum Genet. 2008 Nov;83(5):623-32.
PMID: 18976728

Research Shows How Chronic Stress May be Linked to Physical and Mental Ailments
February 3, 2009 · Science Update

While scientists have long known that the levels of certain hormones rise in response to chronic stress, an NIMH study is the first to describe a potential fundamental mechanism for this process. The findings reveal how individual cells adapt to cope with sudden or extreme stress, and how repeated exposure to stress may be related to many physical and mental illnesses.
Du J, Wang Y, Hunter R, Wei Y, Blumenthal R, Falke C, Khairova R, Zhou R, Yuan P, Machado-Vieira R, McEwen B, Manji HK. Dynamic regulation of mitochondrial functions by glucocorticoids.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2009 Feb 6. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 19202080

Learning Disability Reversed in Mice
November 25, 2008 · Science Update

Just as traffic signals enable safe traversing of the roadways, so too does the brain's machinery for learning and memory rely on its own stop-and-go signals. An NIMH grantee has traced a human learning disability to an imbalance in signals that increase and decrease neural activity and demonstrated a way to correct it in mice, advancing scientific understanding of how memory works.
Cui Y, Costa RM, Murphy GG, Elgersma Y, Zhu Y, Gutmann DH, Parada LF, Mody I, Silva AJ. Neurofibromin regulation of ERK signaling modulates GABA release and learning. Cell. 2008 Oct 31;135(3):549-60.
PMID: 18984165

Genes That Turn On Together Hold Secrets of Brain's Molecular Instructions
November 5, 2008 · Science Update

For the first time, scientists have mapped groups of genes that turn on together in the human brain, revealing a kind of Rosetta Stone of its molecular organization. These never-before-seen patterns of co-expressed genes hold promise for implicating genetic mechanisms conferring risk for illness through “guilt by association,” say the NIMH-funded researchers.
Oldham MC, Konopka G, Iwamoto K, Langfelder P, Kato T, Horvath S, Geschwind DH. Functional organization of the transcriptome in human brain. Nat Neurosci. 2008 Nov;11(11):1271-82.
PMID: 18849986

Research Conferences and Workshops

All meeting summaries listed below can be read in full in the Research and Funding section of the NIMH Web site. These items can also be sorted by date or subject.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Women Returning from Combat

December 8, 2008
Washington, D.C.
The meeting brought together experts in the field to review sex and gender differences in PTSD, identified gaps in research, and generated ideas for new research approaches and initiatives.

Mental Illness, Incarceration, and Community Re-entry: Telepsychiatry and Continuity of Mental Health Care

October 29 – 30, 2008
Austin, Texas
Participants discussed whether current knowledge and practices related to the continuity of mental health care in general and telepsychiatry specifically are effective, and how effective methods can be generalized to other domains of mental health care.

Neuroimmunology, Brain Development, and Mental Disorders

October 2 – 3, 2008
Washington, D.C.
The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the role of neuroimmunologic factors in brain development and mental disorders.

Trauma Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Gender, Race, and Other Socioeconomic Factors

October 1 – 2, 2008
Bethesda, Maryland
The meeting was convened to review existing science on trauma spectrum disorders related to military deployment, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

The 14th NIMH Biennial Research Conference on the Economics of Mental Health

September 25 – 26, 2008
Bethesda, Maryland
This year the program committee invited investigators to present original policy-relevant research that can contribute toward building a high performance mental health system.

Workshop: “Neurobiological Basis of Circadian Rhythms Interaction with Complex Behavior”

July 22 – 23, 2008
Bethesda, Maryland
The overall goal of this workshop was to encourage and further extend research on the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the association between circadian rhythms with higher brain functions and behaviors of importance to the NIMH research mission.

Outreach Meetings

NIMH Alliance for Research Progress—Winter Meeting
In January 2009, NIMH convened the tenth meeting of the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress in Bethesda, Maryland. The Alliance is a group of representatives from patient and family-related advocacy organizations directly concerned with mental illnesses. The meeting serves as an opportunity for Alliance members to learn about scientific advances in mental health research, discuss important information on changes in the field, interact directly with NIMH leadership and provide crucial input and feedback, and network with colleagues. The focus of the meeting was the NIMH IRP. Intramural researchers presented information on New Treatments for Depression, Developmental and Underlying Brain Changes in Children, and the Physiological Basis of the Brain's Dynamic Mental Process. Alliance members also received an update on the Paul Wellstone-Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and toured the NIH campus and the Clinical Research Center. For more information, please contact Alison Bennett at


The FY 2009 President's Budget Request for NIH was submitted to Congress on February 4, 2008. This request would provide a total NIH program level of $29,465 million (includes $29,230 million Labor/HHS Subtotal, $77 million Interior Budget Authority, $150 million Type 1 Diabetes, and $8 million National Library of Medicine Program Evaluation) which is equal to the FY 2008 enacted appropriation. The FY 2009 request of $1,407 million for NIMH is an increase of $1,365 thousand or +0.1% over the FY 2008 Enacted. FY 2008 actual (noncomparable) and FY 2009 President's Budget are displayed on Attachment 1.

On June 26, 2008, the House of Representatives considered the Subcommittee Chairman's Mark of the FY 2009 appropriations bill (see Attachment 2). The House Subcommittee Mark provided an increase to NIH of $1,150 million or +3.9% over the FY 2008 enacted level. The House Subcommittee Mark provided an NIMH program level of $1,455 million for an increase of $49.7 million or +3.5% over the FY 2008 enacted level.

On June 26, 2008, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee provided $30,254 million to the NIH. This represented an increase of $1,025 million or +3.5% over the FY 2008 enacted level. The Senate provided an NIMH program level of $1,446 million for an increase of $40.5 million or +2.9% over the FY 2008 enacted level.

Currently FY 2009 is operating under a continuing resolution through March 6, 2009.

On January 28, 2009, the House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus bill. It provided for NIH $3.5 billion over two years for the following:

  • $1.5 billion for grants or contracts for (a) extramural research facilities construction or renovation, or (b) shared instrumentation grants and contracts.
  • $750 million in FY 2009 and $750 million in FY 2010 for additional scientific research. These funds are appropriated to the NIH Office of the Director, but are to be transferred to the Institutes, Centers, and the Common Fund in proportion to their FY 2008 appropriation.
  • $500 million for the NIH Buildings and Facilities appropriation, but limited for high priority repair and improvement projects (This language could preclude the use of these funds for major construction projects, such as the completion of the Porter Neuroscience Center or the E and F wings of the old Clinical Center (Building 10)).

In addition for Comparative Effectiveness Research:

  • National Institutes of Health: +$400 million transferred from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to NIH.

The FY 2009 Senate version is not available at this time. Also, NIH ICs have not officially received information yet related to the FY 2010 President's Budget.

As of February 11, 2009, much progress within the House and the Senate was made towards finalizing the Economic Stimulus package. However, there is more activity that will take place in Congress before this is finalized and information released.

Major Awards for NIMH Grantees

Recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers, were recognized at a White House ceremony in December 2008. Three NIMH grantees were among the 67 recipients for 2007 PECASE:

  • Thomas A. Blanpied, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine—recognized for research examining the dynamic protein organization underlying the function and plasticity of connections between brain neurons, as well as for his mentorship.
  • Jeremy R. Gray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, Yale University—recognized for studies on how induced emotional states interact with higher cognition, and how these relationships differ from person to person, which may help to identify potential vulnerabilities for mental illness.
  • Francis S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and an Assistant Attending Psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College—recognized for his work on Trk receptors, which, through their role in the body's response to neurotrophins, may play a role in neurodegenerative and mental disorders.

The NCMHD presented the Health Disparities Innovation Award to three NIMH grantees in December, recognizing their work on the National Survey of American Lives (NSAL) and the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS), supported in part by NIMH.

  • Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Cambridge Health Alliance; Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School.
  • James Jackson, Ph.D., Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, and Director of the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.
  • David Takeuchi, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Research, School of Social Work, University of Washington.

Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., Harvard University, was presented with a Presidential Citation at the August 2008 American Psychological Association (APA) Convention, held in Boston. Dr. Alegría received the award in recognition of her visionary leadership in producing ground-breaking research, such as the NLAAS and the “Right Question Project,” that has improved treatment in multicultural populations nationwide. Dr. Alegría was also honored in October with the 2008 Carl Taube Award, presented by the American Public Health Association in recognition of significant contributions to the field of mental health services research.

Todd A. Sacktor, M.D., Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology, Professor of Neurology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, received a Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience (RAIN) at the annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting in November 2008. Dr. Sacktor was recognized for his research elucidating the key processes necessary for the persistence of memory encoded in the hippocampus of rodents.

Ming Tai-Seale, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Health Economics at Texas A&M Health Science Center, received the 2008 AcademyHealth Article-of-the-Year Award in June 2008 at the organization's annual research conference in Washington D.C. for her work using an innovative videotape analysis method to examine how clinic time was spent during elderly patients' visits to primary care physicians. The AcademyHealth Article-of-the-Year Award recognizes the best scientific work that the fields of health services research and health policy have produced during the previous calendar year.

Major NIMH Staff Awards

The NIMH Team on Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Returning Combat Veterans in the Community was awarded the 2008 Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Service to America in January 2009, recognizing the team's “extraordinary creativity and program efficiency in launching new research initiatives focused on the mental health needs of military service members, veterans and their families.” The team comprised:

  • Robert K. Heinssen, Jr., Ph.D., ABPP, Acting Deputy Director, DSIR; and Team Lead
  • David A. Chambers, Ph.D., Chief, Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Branch, DSIR
  • Jovier D. Evans, Ph.D., Chief, Geriatric Pharmacologic Intervention Program, Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR)
  • Steven A. Gerber, Program Assistant, DSIR
  • Amy B. Goldstein, Ph.D., Chief, Child and Adolescent Preventive Intervention Program, DSIR
  • Lauren D. Hill, Ph.D., Public Health Analyst, Adult Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch, DSIR
  • Robert A. Mays, Jr., Ph.D., Acting Director, Office of Special Populations
  • Jane L. Pearson, Ph.D., Associate Director, Preventive Interventions, DSIR
  • Michael Schoenbaum, Ph.D., Senior Advisor for Mental Health Services, Epidemiology & Economics, DSIR
  • Farris Tuma, Sc.D., MHS, Chief, Traumatic Stress Disorders Research Program, DATR
  • Christine M. Ulbricht, Psychologist, DSIR
  • Philip Wang, M.D., Dr.P.H., Director, DSIR

Cheryl Boyce, Ph.D., Associate Director, Research Training and Career Development Program; Chief, Child Abuse and Neglect Program; Division of Developmental Translational Research (DDTR), received the Society for Clinical Psychology's (APA, Division 12) Lifetime Award for Distinguished Contribution to Diversity in Clinical Psychology, Science and Practice (Public Interest) in August 2008 at the APA annual convention.

Linda Brady, Ph.D., Director, Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS), received the first individual Roadmap Compass Award from NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni in October 2008. Dr. Zerhouni established the new Roadmap Compass Award to recognize individuals who provided truly outstanding direction and scientific guidance of Roadmap Programs.

Mortimer Mishkin, Ph.D., received the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience from SfN at the organization's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in November. The Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience honors outstanding contributions to neuroscience. Named after Ralph W. Gerard, who was instrumental in founding the SfN and served as Honorary President from 1970 until his death in 1974, the prize is presented annually and includes up to $25,000.

Daniel Pine, M.D., Chief, Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience, IRP, received the 2008 Joel Elkes Research Award, presented at the annual meeting of The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) in Scottsdale, Arizona, in December. The ACNP presents the Joel Elkes Research Award to a young scientist in recognition of an outstanding clinical/translational contribution to neuropsychopharmacology.

Judith Rapoport, M.D., Chief, Child Psychiatry Branch, IRP, was the recipient of the 2008 National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Mind of America Scientific Research Award, a $50,000 prize given for outstanding contributions made to the study of serious mental illness. Dr. Rapoport received the award during a ceremony at the association's annual gala in October in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Weinberger, M.D., Chief, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, IRP, was the recipient of the 2008 Schizophrenia Conference Award, given by the University of Pittsburgh at the 25th Annual Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference in November. The Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference is the nation's longest running scientific meeting devoted to exploring the latest research findings related to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Staff Changes


Frank Avenilla, Ph.D., joined DDTR in January 2009 as Program Analyst for Autism Research. Dr. Avenilla holds dual doctorates in Human Development and Family Studies and Demography from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining NIMH, Dr. Avenilla worked with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, D.C., where he provided research and analytic support to the Early Childhood Longitudinal Studies-Kindergarten (ECLS-K) and Birth (ECLS-B) cohort studies, sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In DDTR, he will assist with implementation of the Strategic Plan for Autism Research and other Congressionally-requested scientific activities related to autism research.

Francois Boller, M.D., Ph.D., joined NIMH in October as Medical Officer and Scientific Review Officer in the Extramural Research Branch, Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). A native of Switzerland, Dr. Boller received his M.D. from the University of Pisa and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Boller is board certified in Neurology and Psychiatry and has held academic positions at Boston University, Case Western Reserve, University of Pittsburgh, and the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM). Dr. Boller is the author of over 200 articles and books and is internationally recognized for his work in Alzheimer's disease and clinical neuropsychology. For many years, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Neurology, the Handbook of Neuropsychology, and the Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Prior to joining NIMH, Dr. Boller was scientific review officer at the NIH Center for Scientific Review.

Erin Bryant, M.J., joined the NIMH Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) as a science writer and editor in December 2008. Before taking the position, Ms. Bryant worked as a contracted press writer for NICHD. She has also written for SAMHSA News on topics such as naltrexone treatment for alcoholism, co-occurring drug use and mental health disorders, and rural drug use patterns. Ms. Bryant previously worked as a health journalist for a daily wire service where she covered topics ranging from the Maryland Stem Cell Commission to patient violence against mental health workers. Her health articles have appeared in the Washington Examiner, Maryland Daily Record, local area Gazettes,and She received her bachelor's degree in psychology and studio art from St. Mary's College of Maryland and her master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

Susan Daniels, Ph.D., joined NIMH in December as the Deputy Director of OARC. In her position, Dr. Daniels is involved in strategic planning and policy for autism research and management of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Prior to coming to NIMH, she served as a Health Scientist Administrator at NIAID, where she did strategic planning and program evaluation for the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases' extramural biodefense and infectious disease research programs. She managed a portfolio of conference, training, and diversity grants as well. Dr. Daniels also previously worked in the Parkinson's disease program at NINDS. Before joining NIH, Dr. Daniels was a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow and consultant at the National Academy of Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. Her doctoral work focused on the sensory neurobiology and genetics of the soil nematode, C. elegans.

Marsha Love, M.A., Lead Public Affairs Specialist in the Office of Science Policy, Planning and Communications (OSPPC) joined NIMH in November. Previously, Ms. Love was the Communications Director for the Office of Research on Women's Health, OD, NIH. She has a long history with NIH, having been part of the communication staff for both NIA and NICHD, and has designed national communication programs and has produced award-winning videos for NIH. In her current position, Ms. Love is working on long range communication activities and media projects.

David Miller, Ph.D., joined NIMH in February 2009 in the Extramural Research Branch, DEA. Dr. Miller formerly served as Senior Research Fellow with NIA IRP, where his work focused on the study of cell proteins involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. Dr. Miller received his undergraduate degree at Indiana University and his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Prior to his tenure at NIA, he was a postdoctoral fellow and Instructor at Harvard University working in the laboratory of Dr. Anne Young. The recipient of many awards and honors, Dr. Miller is also involved in a number of community and teaching activities.

Chris Sarampote, Ph.D., joined DDTR in December as Program Chief of the Prevention and Treatment Trials Program in the Developmental Trajectories of Mental Disorders Branch. Dr. Sarampote received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2000 from George Mason University and completed fellowships at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and George Washington University. Following his postdoctoral work, he joined Children's National Medical Center and the National Human Genome Research Institute, working as a child psychologist and conducting research on the pharmacogenetics of ADHD. In 2004, Dr. Sarampote joined the NIMH DEA, where he served as a Scientific Review Officer and administered the Interventions Committee for Disorders Involving Children and Their Families.

Azik Schwechter, Ph.D., accepted an appointment as a Health Policy Analyst for OARC in December 2008. Before joining OARC, Dr. Schwechter was a post-doctoral fellow in the NIMH IRP where his research focused on mitochondrial function in the developing axon. He completed his doctoral work in genetic expression and immune regulation in multiple sclerosis at Georgetown University.

Craig Van Dyke, M.D., Director of Global Mental Health for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, agreed in July to serve on a part-time basis as the Special Advisor to the Director of NIMH. He is helping develop the Institute's Global Mental Health Program. Dr. Van Dyke has worked in China, Vietnam and the Republic of Sudan.


Cheryl Boyce, Ph.D., will leave NIMH in March to assume the position of Chief, Behavior and Brain Development Branch and Associate Director for Child and Adolescent Research, Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavior at NIDA. Dr. Boyce has served at NIMH for over ten years as a program officer and most recently held positions as Associate Director for Research Training and Career Development, and Chief of the Trauma Program, within DDTR. Throughout her career, she has collaborated and consulted with Federal agencies, research investigators, those in clinical practice and the public regarding issues of research training and career development, child abuse and neglect, early childhood, health disparities, social and cultural issues, and developmental psychopathology.

Henry Haigler, Ph.D., retired from his position in the Extramural Research Branch, DEA, in January 2009. Dr. Haigler joined NIMH in 1991, serving a number of positions including Director of the Psychotherapeutic Medications Development Program, Referral Liaison Officer/Scientific Review Officer, and Associate Director for Staff Development. Dr. Haigler received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. from Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. Following academic positions at Yale University School of Medicine and Emory University Medical School, Dr. Haigler moved to Illinois where he held scientific management positions with G.D. Searle and Company and Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Haigler's scientific breadth in the areas of neuro- psychopharmacology and drug development served him well as the Scientific Review Officer for countless review meetings covering a broad range of science and mechanisms.

John K. Hsiao, M.D., Chief, Adult Psychopharmacology Program and the Combined Intervention Therapy Program in DSIR, will be leaving NIMH in February to take charge of the Biomarkers Program in the Dementia Research Branch of the Division of Neuroscience, NIA. Dr. Hsiao has been at NIMH since 1985 and with the Extramural Research Program since 1994. He joined DSIR in 1998 to begin the CATIE project. In addition to CATIE and the Schizophrenia Trials Network (STN), which developed from CATIE, other schizophrenia trials he has been responsible for include Cognitive and Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia Trial (CONSIST), Preventing Relapse in Schizophrenia: Oral Antipsychotics Compared to Injectables—Evaluating Efficacy (PROACTIVE), Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenic Episode (RAISE), and (on the STN) Stay or Switch (SoS), Comparing Antipsychotics for Metabolic Problems (CAMP), Metformin for Schizophrenia (METS), Comparison of Optimized Antipsychotic Treatments for Schizophrenia (COATS), A Comparison of Long Acting Injectable Medications for Schizophrenia (ACLAIMS), and Rapid Improvement of Persistent Psychosis in Schizophrenia (RIPPS). He was the Project Officer for CAMS and the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention in Tourette's disease (CBIT) study, and helped initiate Combining Oral Medications to End Depression (COMED) on the Depression Trials Network, and Lithium Treatment Use Study for bipolar disorders (LiTMUS) on the Bipolar Trials Network. He was Editor in Chief of Schizophrenia Bulletin until NIMH privatized it.

Peter Sheridan, Ph.D., retired from his position with the NIMH Extramural Research Branch, DEA, in October 2008. Dr. Sheridan joined the Review Branch in 2001 following a long and distinguished academic career at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. A New York City native, Dr. Sheridan received his Bachelor of Science from Union College and his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. Following his post doctoral training, Dr. Sheridan was recruited to San Antonio, where he quickly ascended to the rank of Professor. The recipient of many NIH grants and author of over 115 peer reviewed articles, Dr. Sheridan was a dedicated teacher, mentor, and well respected researcher in the field of neuroendocrinology. At NIMH, Dr. Sheridan presided over dozens of review meetings and was particularly an expert in the review of complex center applications.

Steven Wise, Ph.D., retired in February 2009 as Chief of the Section of Neurophysiology in the Laboratory of Systems Neuroscience in the NIMH IRP. Since coming to NIMH in 1978, he has studied the cognitive control of motor behavior in primates with an emphasis on the functional organization of the frontal cortex.

Transfers and Other NIMH Staff Changes:

Christopher Gordon, Ph.D., accepted the position of Associate Director for Prevention, Division of AIDS and Health and Behavior (DAHBR) in November. Dr. Gordon joined NIMH in 2000 as Chief of the Secondary HIV Prevention and Treatment Adherence Program, and became the Branch Chief in 2005 for the Secondary HIV Prevention and Translational Research Branch. Prior to then, he served as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Syracuse University. In addition to his previous prevention work with DAHBR, he has been very active in general NIMH prevention efforts, which can help inform the Institute's participation in the Healthy People 2010 Initiative.

Della Hann, Ph.D., Director, OSPPC, began serving on a detail in December as Acting Deputy Director of the NIH Office of Extramural Research, Office of the Director, to help during the Federal administration's transition period. During this time, Dr. Hann will continue to work with staff in OARC.

Michael Huerta, Ph.D., Associate Director, DNBBS; Chief, Neurotechnology Program, DNBBS; and Director, Office of Cross-Cutting Research and Scientific Technology in DNBBS, began serving as Director of the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR)  in November. NDAR is an NIH portal to the data generated, and tools used, by the entire autism research community. Dr. Huerta has led many national biomedical informatics efforts and initiatives since joining NIMH in 1991 and is actively involved with related policy and practice issues at NIH, such as data sharing, common standards for research, and team science. Dr. Huerta will provide leadership and programmatic perspective to this important national resource, overseeing the implementation and running of NDAR by contractors and NIH Center for Information Technology staff, and working closely with program staff managing autism research portfolios across NIH to facilitate the use of NDAR by their investigators. He will also work with the broad autism research community and others with a stake in advancing autism research.

Dominica Roth was selected in November, following a government-wide recruitment effort, for the position of Chief, Management Analysis and Services Branch, NIMH Office of Resource Management. Ms. Roth joined NIMH in 2004 as a Management Analyst. Prior to then, she was an NIH Management Intern and completed rotational assignments in the NIH Office of Management Assessment, NIH Office of Extramural Research, the NIH Office of Strategic Management Planning, NIAID Office of Communications and Public Liaison, NIA Office of Budget, National Eye Institute's Office of Administration, and the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Science and Data Policy.

In Memoriam:

Frank Cooper passed away suddenly on November 12, 2008. Frank joined NIMH in 1992 as manager of the NIMH copy center.

Ichiji Tasaki, M.D., a revered biophysicist, died unexpectedly on January 4, 2009. He had retired in September 2008 at the age of 97 in name only, continuing to work in the lab seven days a week. His long, distinguished career in science was marked by many discoveries on the chemical and physical processes underlying nerve excitability and the mechanisms of hearing and vision, including the ground-breaking discovery that neuronal impulses jump from gap to gap in myelinated axons via saltatory conduction.

National Institute of Mental Health FY 2008 Actual & FY 2009 President's Budget

(Dollars in Thousands)

Attachment 1 - Table 1 of 2

FY 2008 Actual (Incl. GEI & Supplemental Transfers)
No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount
Research Grants:
  Research Projects:
    Noncompeting 1,436 500,264 169 83,889 1,605 584,153
    Admin. Suppl (58) 5,443 (8) 627 (66) 6,070
    Competing 502 181,647 79 34,778 581 216,425
     Subtotal 1,938 687,354 248 119,294 2,186 806,648
    SBIR/STTR 71 23,261 16 4,627 87 27,888
     Subtot.,RPG 2,009 710,615 264 123,921 2,273 834,536
  Research Centers 66 103,961 8 19,162 74 123,123
  Other Research:
    Res. Careers 392 60,118 40 6,182 432 66,300
    Coop. Clin. Res 0 540 5 3,882 5 4,422
    Biomedical Res.Sup 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Other 117 34,722 16 3,842 133 38,564
     Subtot., Other 509 95,380 61 13,906 570 109,286
Total Res.Grants 2,584 909,956 333 156,989 2,917 1,066,945
  Research Training: FTTP FTTP FTTP
    Individual 250 9,156 33 1,196 283 10,352
    Institutional 774 32,838 85 4,067 859 36,905
     Total Training 1,024 41,994 118 5,263 1,142 47,257
  R&D Contracts 192 55,781 10 8,124 202 63,905
    Total, Extramural 1,007,731 170,376 1,178,107
  Intramural Res 382 165,384 3 3,052 385 168,436
  Res. Mgmt. & Supp 223 60,273 1/ 15 7,725 238 67,998
    Total, NIMH 605 1,233,388 18 181,153 623 1,414,541
    % Over Prior Year 0.7% 1.4% 0.8%

1/ Includes $983 for Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.

Attachment 1 - Table 2 of 2

FY 2009 President's Budget
No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount
Research Grants:
  Research Projects:
    Noncompeting 1,396 509,317 162 82,397 1,558 591,714
    Admin. Suppl (36) 2,426 (6) 379 (42) 2,805
    Competing 428 146,988 69 28,892 497 175,880
     Subtotal 1,824 658,731 231 111,668 2,055 770,399
    SBIR/STTR 82 23,211 12 4,494 94 27,705
     Subtot.,RPG 1,906 681,942 243 116,162 2,149 798,104
  Research Centers 69 103,497 8 19,971 77 123,468
  Other Research:
    Res. Careers 433 64,875 37 5,605 470 70,480
    Coop. Clin. Res 0 490 5 3,920 5 4,410
    Biomedical Res.Sup 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Other 125 30,647 15 6,658 140 37,305
     Subtot., Other 558 96,012 57 16,183 615 112,195
Total Res.Grants 2,533 881,451 308 152,316 2,841 1,033,767
  Research Training: FTTP FTTP FTTP
    Individual 246 8,865 29 1,066 275 9,931
    Institutional 827 36,211 86 4,055 913 40,266
     Total Training 1,073 45,076 115 5,121 1,188 50,197
  R&D Contracts 174 75,164 13 10,777 187 85,941
    Total, Extramural 1,001,691 168,214 1,169,905
  Intramural Res 374 164,820 3 3,098 377 167,918
  Res. Mgmt. & Supp 227 61,177 15 7,841 242 69,018
    Total, NIMH 601 1,227,688 18 179,153 619 1,406,841
    % Over Prior Year -0.5% -1.1% -0.5%

Comparison of FY 2008 Enacted, FY 2009 President's Budget, FY 2009 House, and FY 2009 Senate

(Dollars in Thousands)

Attachment 2

FY 2008 Enacted (Post Rescission) FY 2009 Presidents Budget (PB) FY 2009 House (Subcommittee Chairman's Mark) House (Subcommittee Chairman's Mark) vs. FY 2008 Difference FY 2009 House (Subcommittee Chairman's Mark) vs. FY 2008 Enacted FY 2009 Senate (Full Committee Mark) Difference FY 2009 Senate (Full Committee Mark) vs. FY 2008 Enacted Difference FY 2009 Senate (Full Committee Mark) vs. FY 2008 Enacted
IC Amount Amount Amount Amount Percent Amount Amount Percent
NCI $4,805,088 $4,809,819 $4,975,039 $169,951 3.50% $4,958,594 $153,506 3.2%
NHLBI 2,922,112 2,924,942 3,025,500 103,388 3.5% 3,006,344 84,232 2.9%
NIDCR 390,158 390,535 403,958 13,800 3.5% 401,405 11,247 2.9%
NIDDK 1/ 1,706,684 1,708,487 1,767,071 60,387 3.5% 1,755,881 49,197 2.9%
NINDS 1,543,901 1,545,397 1,598,521 54,620 3.5% 1,588,405 44,504 2.9%
NIAID 2/ 4,560,655 4,568,778 4,716,283 155,628 3.4% 4,688,828 128,173 2.8%
NIAID less Global HIV/AIDS 4,265,896 4,268,778 4,416,283 150,387 3.5% 4,388,828 122,932 2.9%
Transfer (non-add)
NIGMS 1,935,808 1,937,690 2,004,295 68,487 3.5% 1,991,609 55,801 2.9%
NICHD 1,254,708 1,255,920 1,299,059 44,351 3.5% 1,290,873 36,165 2.9%
NEI 667,116 667,764 690,721 23,605 3.5% 687,346 20,230 3.0%
642,253 642,875 664,980 22,727 3.5% 660,767 18,514 2.9%
NIA 1,047,260 1,048,278 1,084,321 37,061 3.5% 1,077,448 30,188 2.9%
NIAMS 508,586 509,080 526,583 17,997 3.5% 523,246 14,660 2.9%
NIDCD 394,138 395,047 408,587 14,449 3.7% 406,000 11,862 3.0%
NIMH 1,405,476 1,406,841 1,455,145 49,669 3.5% 1,445,987 40,511 2.9%
NIDA 1,000,700 1,001,672 1,035,997 35,297 3.5% 1,029,539 28,839 2.9%
NIAAA 436,259 436,681 451,688 15,429 3.5% 448,834 12,575 2.9%
137,476 137,609 142,336 4,860 3.5% 141,439 3,963 2.9%
NHGRI 486,779 487,878 504,603 17,824 3.7% 501,411 14,632 3.0%
NIBIB 298,645 300,254 310,513 11,868 4.0% 307,254 8,609 2.9%
NCRR 1,149,446 1,160,473 1,200,061 50,615 4.4% 1,192,576 43,130 3.8%
NCCAM 121,577 121,695 125,878 4,301 3.5% 125,082 3,505 2.9%
NCMHD 199,569 199,762 206,632 7,063 3.5% 205,322 5,753 2.9%
FIC 66,558 66,623 68,905 2,347 3.5% 68,476 1,918 2.9%
NLM 320,507 323,046 331,847 11,340 3.5% 329,996 9,489 3.0%
OD 1,109,099 1,056,797 1,255,420 146,321 13.2% 1,275,281 166,182 15.0%
Common Fund Included in OD (non add) 495,608 533,877 544,146 48,538 9.8% 568,119 72,511 14.6%
B&F 118,966 125,581 125,581 6,615 5.6% 146,581 27,615 23.2%
Total Labor/HHS Discretionary $29,229,524 $29,229,524 $30,379,524 $1,150,000 3.9% $30,254,524 $1,025,000 3.5%

1/ Excludes $150 million for Type 1 Diabetes

2/ Includes $294.759 million and $300 million for Global AIDS in FY 2008 Enacted and FY 2009 PB, respectively. The FY 2009 House (Chairman's Mark) and Senate (Full Committee) both include $300 million for Global AIDS.