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Molecular, Cellular, and Genomic Neuroscience Research Branch

Branch Overview

This Branch supports fundamental neuroscience research to define genetic, molecular and cellular processes determining function and plasticity within circuits relevant to emotional regulation, cognition, and mental disorders. Programs of research within the branch encompass brain development, neuronal signaling, synaptic plasticity, neuroendocrinology, and neuroimmunology. Additional programs and services are aimed at drug discovery for mental disorders and the identification and validation of novel drug targets.

The National Institute of Mental Health has developed a Strategic Plan which outlines important directions of NIMH support for research on mental disorders and the underlying basic science of brain and behavior. Strategic Objectives of the plan supported by this branch include:

  • Promote Discovery in the Brain and Behavioral Sciences to Fuel Research on the Causes of Mental Disorders
  • Chart Mental Illness Trajectories to Determine When, Where and How to Intervene
  • Develop New and Better Interventions that Incorporate the Diverse Needs and Circumstances of People with Mental Illnesses

As such, the branch supports research aimed at developing an integrative understanding of basic brain-behavior processes that provide the foundation for understanding mental disorders including studies that contribute basic knowledge of the molecular processes driving the development, structure, and function of neural circuits, with a focus on those most relevant to mental disorders.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact relevant NIMH program staff to discuss concepts and their potential relationship to the Strategic Objectives outlined in the plan prior to submission of applications.

Branch Chief

Lois Winsky, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7185, MSC 9641