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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Developmental and Genomic Neuroscience Research Branch

Branch Overview

This branch supports fundamental neuroscience research to define the developmental processes and genomic regulatory mechanisms that underlie neural organization, function and plasticity in the brain, particularly as they relate to cognitive, affective and social domains of brain function. Within this context, the branch supports basic functional genomic and developmental studies of genes and allelic variation that have been associated with mental illness risk at genome-wide significance and for which the fundamental biology of those genes is poorly understood. Programs in this branch also support the utilization of research tools and reference data developed through the BRAIN Initiative toward addressing these basic science questions. Approaches can include in vivo, in situ and in vitro paradigms using vertebrate or invertebrate model organisms and human cell-based assays.

Further details concerning branch research priorities can be obtained by reviewing the descriptions of individual programs, which include Areas of Emphasis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to align projects according to the NIMH Strategic Plan (see Strategies listed under Goals 1 and 2), along with NIMH guidance on the use of model organisms for mental health-relevant research (NOT-MH-19-053), biological investigations of genes associated with disease risk (NOT-MH-18-035), and enhancing the reliability of NIMH-supported research through rigorous study design and reporting (NOT-MH-14-004).

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate NIMH Program Officer to determine how well their proposals align with NIMH priorities.

Branch Chief

David M. Panchision, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7187, MSC 9641