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TSRI Scientific Report 2003

Helen L. Dorris Child and Adolescent Neurological and Psychiatric Disorder Institute


cravatt2Ben Cravatt, Ph.D.

The explosion of information in the past several decades has had a paradoxical effect on modern science: the more we know, the less aware we become of all we know. Disciplines have become so specialized that it is difficult to keep abreast of the discoveries in one subspecialty, let alone several fields of research.

This specialization is a problem for scientists because sometimes the best answers for the most important questions are already known--but not by the researchers who ask the questions. And the people who know the answers are simply unaware that others are asking.

TSRI recognizes that one of the best ways to remedy this problem is to foster an interdisciplinary approach to science that draws on the expertise of scientists from multiple backgrounds. By establishing formal ties and infrastructures that bring scientists together, several centers on campus set the stage for an interdisciplinary approach to flourish.

The Helen L. Dorris Child and Adolescent Neurological and Psychiatric Disorder Institute was established with a generous gift from mental health advocate and San Diego State University professor emeritus Helen L. Dorris. Her interest in mental health advocacy led her to provide the funding to establish this institute, which has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to studies of neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Specifically, the aim of scientists at the institute is to uncover the pathologic basis of mental disorders and to develop therapies for the disorders. In the past year, several talented investigators were recruited to join the institute, including Jerold Chun and Lisa Stowers. Together, these investigators are addressing many of the most challenging problems facing contemporary molecular and behavioral neuroscience. Their research promises to uncover fundamental mechanisms for brain function and to reveal novel strategies and targets for the treatment of nervous system disorders.

 

 







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