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Stress Biology Research FAQs

Q1. How do NIMH priorities in stress biology research vary across institute divisions?
A1. Current priorities of the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS) and the Division of Translational Research (DTR) are provided in A3 and A4, respectively.

Q2. Are these priorities up-to-date?
A2.  The priorities listed below are current. NIMH regularly re-assesses strategic and programmatic priorities. This FAQs page will be kept up-to-date with any new or altered priorities. The best way to obtain information regarding the fit of a specific project with NIMH priorities is to contact a program officer via

Q3. What are DNBBS current priorities in stress biology research?
A3. Current DNBBS priorities in stress biology research include, but are not limited to:

  • Regulation and dysregulation of stress responses.
  • Genetic/epigenetic bases of vulnerability and resilience to deficits across functional domains and brain systems conserved among mammalian species.
  • Neurodevelopmental trajectories associated with stressor sensitivity and long-term impact of stressor exposure at the molecular/cellular, circuit, and behavioral levels.  
  • Timing of sensitive periods and degree of neural plasticity.
  • Integration: CNS/PNS; neuronal/extra-neuronal; nervous system/immune system
  • Selection of behavioral measures that allow evaluation of cellular and/or circuit mechanisms contributing to stressor effects 

Q4: What are DTR’s current priorities in stress biology research?
A4: Current DTR priorities in stress biology research include, but are not limited to:

  • Identification of proximal factors that directly shape neurodevelopmental outcomes in humans
  • Brain mechanisms underlying changes in stressor impact across the lifespan.
  • Identification of individual factors that predict how adverse events alter transitions between clinical states or contribute to functional deficits across mental disorders.  
  • Biosignatures that stratify or predict vulnerability and resilience.
  • Characterization of the exposome, including mechanisms through which multiple adverse factors interact to shape responses and impact clinical outcomes. 
  • Use of computational/machine learning approaches to understand heterogeneity of adverse experience and environmental exposures and to develop algorithms to predict neurodevelopmental risk.

Q5. How can I obtain more information on whether my project is appropriate for NIMH assignment?
A5. Please send inquiries and draft specific aims pages to NIMH Program Staff at

Last Updated: October 17, 2018