Scientific Report 2008
Helen L. Dorris Child and Adolescent Neuro-Psychiatric Disorder Institute
of the human genome promises to propel humans into the age of molecular medicine,
where complex diseases are diagnosed and treated in a patient- and target-specific
manner. For the nervous system, in particular, the postgenome era holds the potential
to deliver groundbreaking new medicines for previously intractable psychiatric
in order to realize this goal, a new breed of research institute is needed that
cultivates cross talk among many experimental disciplines. Indeed, unraveling the
complexities of the human brain and behavior can only be achieved by bringing together
scientists from diverse backgrounds and expertise, including chemistry, physics,
genetics, and behavior.
The Helen L. Dorris Child and Adolescent
Neuro-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 these disorders. Several talented investigators have been recruited
to join the institute. 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.