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Director's Welcome

Welcome Message from the Director


jnurnber.jpgResearch that saves and reclaims lives.

Applying science to treatment.

Over the past fifty years the Institute of Psychiatric Research (IPR) has forged new frontiers in the understanding of psychiatric disorders, which are now viewed as brain disorders with behavioral symptoms. As part of the Department of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine IPR's mission is to investigate the underlying causes of psychiatric illnesses, such as Mood Disorders, Addictions, Anxiety Disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia, Disorders of Circadian Rhythm, Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Our long-term goal is to enhance the autonomy, self-understanding and life satisfaction for persons and family members combating these conditions. IPR is one of a few free-standing Institutes in the United States devoted to the study of mental disorders.

This is an exciting and rewarding time at IPR because of the spectacular increase in understanding the human genome, including new data on human genetic variation and new ways of studying gene expression in the brain. Methods such as magnetic resonance imaging to study activity within specific brain regions have opened new avenues of investigation for IPR scientists. Our research is intended to advance new treatment strategies that specifically target the many forms of mental illness. The majority of research at IPR is funded by the National Institutes of Health. IPR scientists also collaborate with other Departments in the School of Medicine and with other universities and research institutes around the world.

IPR is a leader in psychiatric research. We are the coordinating site for a national program studying the genetic contribution to bipolar affective disorder. Scientists at IPR are involved in an extensive basic research project to identify brain mechanisms of alcohol dependence and participate in a national program on the genetics of alcoholism. Our faculty is investigating new strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We are actively pursuing brain mechanisms underlying anxiety, affective disorders and schizophrenia and are progressing towards uncovering the genetic expression of these conditions. We have a new program to preserve and study brain specimens from deceased persons who were afflicted with psychiatric illness. We participate in the Alcohol Research Center funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Center on Alzheimer's Disease funded by the National Institute on Aging as well as the Research Unit on Psychopharmacology funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and which focuses on autistic disorders.

According to the World Health Organization, psychiatric conditions are among the most disabling illnesses. They co-occur with other medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and are associated with an increased risk of death. Each year psychiatric conditions cost billions of dollars in lost productivity and untold human misery. Research at IPR integrates preclinical and clinical science to identify brain mechanisms and specific genes underlying psychiatric disorders. Scientists at IPR have contributed to treatments that truly make a difference in people's lives. Further research will refine these treatments and develop new strategies that specifically target the many forms of mental illness.

This website will introduce you to the scientists at IPR and the type of work they do. Results of our studies are described in published papers which may be obtained through your library or by email request to the appropriate scientist at IPR. Brochures describing our work are available on request. Together we are working toward rapid advancements in the field of psychiatric research and hope you share our sense of excitement about the expanding opportunities in brain science.

Sincerely,

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John I. Nurnberger, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Institute of Psychiatric Research
Joyce and Iver Small Professor of Psychiatry