The Basic Science Training Program in the Neurobiology of Mental Illness (NMI) at UT Southwestern is designed to provide interdisciplinary, basic disease-oriented research training directly relevant to mental illness to predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows. This application for continued support for our NMI Training Program at UT Southwestern is a direct response to NIMH's call for more basic scientists trained in a broad range of diverse, innovative basic research that closely informs our understanding and treatment of mental illness. In addition to the paucity of basic science researchers nationwide exploring the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric diseases, there is, conversely, a dearth of clinically-trained individuals pursuing basic research in mental illness, thus diminishing the very cross talk that is urgently needed in this field. The complexity of mental disorders demands an interdisciplinary approach to illuminate underlying disease mechanisms and to develop better diagnostic measures, treatments, and ultimately cures. Our NMI training program has numerous strengths, including: a) the outstanding environment at UT Southwestern in which to conduct basic, interdisciplinary biomedical research;b) the intellectual intensity and close-knit nature of the UT Southwestern neuroscience community;c) the integration of fundamental neurobiological research performed in multiple academic divisions;d) the unusually strong foundation at UT Southwestern to explore fundamental underpinnings of depression, schizophrenia and autism;e) the preexisting integration of basic science with clinical programs in mental illness;f) the breadth and depth of our potential trainees;g) calculated interactions between junior and senior mentors, thus ensuring that junior mentors will also benefit from the Training Program and will remain in mental health research in future years;and h) novel, translationally-oriented training components, such as hands-on neurophysiology and human neuroanatomy laboratories, a new Clinical Correlations Seminar, and the presence of a clinician on each trainee's doctoral thesis committee.

Public Health Relevance

The NMI Training Program is designed to encourage the best basic scientists-in-training to turn their attention to studying mental illness, with a purposeful endpoint being the development of new treatments for depression, schizophrenia, autism and developmental disorders, and other severe, common mental illnesses. The mental health research that is ongoing in the Department of Psychiatry has already inspired many UT Southwestern researchers to pursue mental health research. This Training Plan's goal of attracting and inspiring additional young scientists to pursue mental health research is both warranted and feasible given the truly exceptional and translational nature of the researchers, environment, and trainees offered by UT Southwestern.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-S (01))
Program Officer
Chavez, Mark
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Texas Sw Medical Center Dallas
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Scott, Daniel; Tamminga, Carol A (2018) Effects of genetic and environmental risk for schizophrenia on hippocampal activity and psychosis-like behavior in mice. Behav Brain Res 339:114-123
Yun, Sanghee; Reynolds, Ryan P; Petrof, Iraklis et al. (2018) Stimulation of entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus circuitry is antidepressive. Nat Med 24:658-666
Schaukowitch, Katie; Reese, Austin L; Kim, Seung-Kyoon et al. (2017) An Intrinsic Transcriptional Program Underlying Synaptic Scaling during Activity Suppression. Cell Rep 18:1512-1526
Araujo, Daniel J; Toriumi, Kazuya; Escamilla, Christine O et al. (2017) Foxp1 in Forebrain Pyramidal Neurons Controls Gene Expression Required for Spatial Learning and Synaptic Plasticity. J Neurosci 37:10917-10931
Whoolery, Cody W; Walker, Angela K; Richardson, Devon R et al. (2017) Whole-Body Exposure to 28Si-Radiation Dose-Dependently Disrupts Dentate Gyrus Neurogenesis and Proliferation in the Short Term and New Neuron Survival and Contextual Fear Conditioning in the Long Term. Radiat Res 188:532-551
Rajkovich, Kacey E; Loerwald, Kristofer W; Hale, Carly F et al. (2017) Experience-Dependent and Differential Regulation of Local and Long-Range Excitatory Neocortical Circuits by Postsynaptic Mef2c. Neuron 93:48-56
Braff, David L; Tamminga, Carol A (2017) Endophenotypes, Epigenetics, Polygenicity and More: Irv Gottesman's Dynamic Legacy. Schizophr Bull 43:10-16
Yun, Sanghee; Reynolds, Ryan P; Masiulis, Irene et al. (2016) Re-evaluating the link between neuropsychiatric disorders and dysregulated adult neurogenesis. Nat Med 22:1239-1247
Yun, Sanghee; Donovan, Michael H; Ross, Michele N et al. (2016) Stress-Induced Anxiety- and Depressive-Like Phenotype Associated with Transient Reduction in Neurogenesis in Adult Nestin-CreERT2/Diphtheria Toxin Fragment A Transgenic Mice. PLoS One 11:e0147256
Petrik, David; Latchney, Sarah E; Masiulis, Irene et al. (2015) Chromatin Remodeling Factor Brg1 Supports the Early Maintenance and Late Responsiveness of Nestin-Lineage Adult Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells. Stem Cells 33:3655-65

Showing the most recent 10 out of 27 publications