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Drug Discovery and Clinical Therapeutics Program

This program supports research aimed at designing and developing novel research tools for neuroimaging novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of mental illnesses. This program also supports the National Cooperative Drug Discovery/Development Groups for the Treatment of Mental Disorders (NCDDG). The NCDDG encourages public-private partnerships to accelerate the discovery of pharmacological agents targeting novel molecular processes implicated in the pathophysiology of mental illnesses; to facilitate the development and validation of predictive assays for developing novel therapeutics for mental illnesses; to support early phase human clinical testing to rapidly assess the safety and efficacy of promising drug candidates; and, to facilitate the development and validation of new clinical measures or biomarkers suitable for use in human proof of concept trials of novel therapeutics. Areas of interest include:

  • Developing and testing PET/SPECT imaging ligands for novel targets implicated in mental illnesses in proof of concept studies as potential biomarkers for drug discovery and for pathophysiological studies of mental illnesses.
  • Establishing proof of concept studies to assess safety and tolerability of novel mechanism of action drugs in human subjects, especially drugs in the early stages of development for the treatment of mental illnesses.

It is recommended that applicants review the NIH/NIMH Therapeutics Discovery Research webpage for relevant announcements and guidance.

Applications should adhere to recently published recommendations detailed in a notice in the NIH Guide (NOT-14-004 ) and summarized in Enhancing the Reliability of NIMH-Supported Research through Rigorous Study Design and Reporting on the NIMH website.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with the Institute contact listed below prior to the submission of their application to ascertain that their proposed work is aligned with NIMH funding priorities.


Linda S. Brady, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7204/MSC 9645