The purpose of this training program is to increase the number of researchers in the area of schizophrenia who have the ability to apply modern techniques of basic and clinical research into their investigations. Training in the disciplines of psychopharmacology, brain imaging, genetics, neuropathology, neuropsychology, molecular neurobiology and epidemiology are offered by participating faculty. All mentors have federally-funded research projects. The training develops research skills by supervised participation in ongoing research, but the trainee is expected to construct and execute independent projects as well. Didactic work focuses on research design and statistics, and a weekly schizophrenia research seminar reviews current schizophrenia research in all areas. Trainees for the project are primarily psychiatrists who have completed both their medical school training and 4 years of residency. These trainees have had considerable experience with the diagnosis and treatment of major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, but are likely to lack specific research skills such as developing testable hypotheses, designing a feasible research study acceptable to institutional review boards, and the collection and analysis of standardized research data. In addition to these MD psychiatrists, we recruit MD/PhD psychiatrists with a background in basic science research, PhD psychologists, MD neurologists, and PhD biologists with a special interest in schizophrenia. We adapt the training to suit their background and interests. Seven stipends are requested to support 2 to 3 fellows per year, with most fellows projected to receive support for a third year of training. This program is conducted at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) and at the Health Sciences Division of Columbia University, by faculty members of Columbia. With a total of over eighty million dollars annually in federal grants, a research institute with 64 beds (including a 12 bed designated schizophrenia inpatient research unit funded by NYS at NYSPI), a foundation-funded schizophrenia center grant, a Hughes Institute, and 5 MHCRCs, there exists in the Columbia Department of Psychiatry the research personnel and clinical facilities to continue to execute this proposed training program, which has had excellent success in its training efforts thus far. Schizophrenia is a devastating illness and a major public health problem. It is estimated that 0.8% of the population develops this disorder, and that one quarter of all hospital beds are occupied by such patients. The illness typically diminishes or destroys the patients' capabilities for productive work. Though treatment advances have been made, most patients remain severely incapacitated. In addition to the personal terror, confusion and misery which it produces, there is a tremendous stress on family members and immense costs to society.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-X (02))
Program Officer
Chavez, Mark
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
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