Neurobiology and Behavior Research

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Division of Neurobiology and Behavior Research

Despite the flood of knowledge in molecular neuroscience, our understanding of how molecular events lead to normal and abnormal behavior remains incomplete and inadequate. The faculty of the Division of Neurobiology and Behavior Research (DNBR) are engaged in research activities designed to build bridges between these cellular/molecular events and behavior.

In the DNBR, numerous psychiatric illnesses are under study, including major depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse disorders, developmental disorders such as autism, sleep disorders, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The outcome of the division's research activities carries the promise of novel and/or improved approaches to the treatment of psychiatric illnesses.

The Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior founded the Graduate Program in Neuroscience in 2007. The Program in Neuroscience (PIN) is an interdepartmental collaborative PhD training program that includes faculty members from basic and clinical departments across the UMMC campus, including the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. PIN receives generous stipend support from the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences and currently trains nearly 20 PhD and MD/PhD students. All of the faculty in the DNBR participate in the PIN teaching and research training. In addition, psychiatry residents have the unique opportunity to participate in basic/clinical research activities of the PIN and DNBR as a part of a research elective in the residency training program.

DNBR faculty currently receive generous support from UMMC as well as external support from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Alzheimer's Association, and pharmaceutical manufacturers and developers. The division currently has nearly $3 million per year in external research support, most of which comes from the National Institutes of Health. The division is also home to the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience dedicated to building research infrastructure at UMMC and the development of young faculty through mentoring and a pilot program.