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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program supports research and development by small businesses of innovative technologies that have the potential to succeed commercially or provide significant societal benefit. The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program has the same objectives but requires academic research involvement. In this Division, the SBIR and STTR programs support research and the development of tools related to basic brain and behavioral science, genetics, and drug discovery and development relevant to the mission of the NIMH. Such tools include: software (such as informatics tools and resources and tools for analyzing data); hardware (such as the development of instrumentation or devices); wetware (such as the use of iRNAs or other bioactive agents as research tools or molecular imaging agents or genetic approaches to label neural circuits or modify circuit functions); and drug discovery related technologies such as high throughput screening (HTS) or computational pharmacology approaches.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Novel imaging probes to study brain structure and function at all levels, from the molecular to the whole organ, using any imaging modality (PET, fMRI, optical, etc.).
  • Novel pharmacologic agents for brain research related to mental disorders, including research aimed at discovering new drugs or molecular research probes for these disorders.
  • Novel screening assays for high throughput acquisition and analysis of data about behavior and the brain, from the level of genes to the level of behavior.
  • Informatics tools and approaches for making better sense and use of data about behavior and the brain.


Margaret Grabb, Ph.D.
Program Chief
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7203, MSC 9645

Learn more about NIMH's Small Business Research Programs.