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Scientific Report 2008

Helen L. Dorris Child and Adolescent Neuro-Psychiatric Disorder Institute

The sequencing 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

However, 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.


Ben Cravatt, Ph.D.

Helen Dorris Institute Web Site

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