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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Genomics Research Branch


The Genomics Research Branch plans, supports, and administers programs of research towards the discovery and function of gene variants and other genomic elements that contribute to the development of mental illnesses and related traits. Research projects apply genome-scale approaches to case-control, family and population based study designs in order to identify genetic risk factors and the underlying genetic architecture of serious mental illnesses. The Branch also supports basic research into the relationship between human genetic variation and phenotypic variation in molecular, cellular, neuroimaging, affective, and cognitive traits relevant to mental illnesses. Towards this end the Branch encourages the development and distribution of research resources such as novel statistical, computational, and bioinformatics tools as well as comprehensive genomic reference maps derived from healthy and patient brains, organoids, and cells. The goal is to establish a robust foundation based on human genetics and human biology for translational neuroscience efforts aiming to diagnose, treat, and ultimately prevent mental illnesses.

The National Institutes of Health has outlined efforts to increase rigor and reproducibility  of biomedical research, and the Branch supports work that is well-powered, statistically robust, and independently replicated as well as quickly and openly disseminated to the scientific community. Moreover, NIMH developed a Strategic Plan for Research which outlines the Institute’s research priorities, including basic science of brain function and behavior.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact relevant NIMH program staff to discuss concepts and their potential relationship to the NIH’s mission and NIMH’s Strategic Objectives prior to submission of applications.

Additional resources

Branch chief

Jonathan Pevsner, Ph.D. 
6001 Executive Blvd. 

Contact for general grant program assistance

Lora Bingaman 
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7180B