The scientific mission of this SCORE is to identify stress-immune pathway abnormalities, beginning in fetal development, that have shared consequences for sex differences in brain circuitry regulating mood and lifelong recurrent MDD and dysregulation of hormone and immune responses to stress, and autonomic and neurovascular dysfunction in early midlife.
We aim to facilitate transdisciplinary, translational collaboration among basic and clinical investigators to enhance our understanding of the impact of sex on MDD and central and peripheral autonomic function and translate this knowledge into sex-selective therapeutics. Further, we aim to serve as an interdisciplinary resource to train and disseminate findings about sex differences in MDD and autonomic dysregulation to the scientific and medical communities, policy makers, and the public. To accomplish our aims in three projects and three cores, we are proposing a series of interdisciplinary and translational studies from basic and clinical neuroscience and population-level perspectives, integrating scientists from different disciplines and institutions ranging from the lab bench to the clinical level. In the Resource Support Core (RSC), we are integrating and introducing novel state-of-the-art technologies, with some that will cross human and animal work. In the Career Enhancement Core (CEC), educating young scientists in new approaches and insuring that their future work will translate sex as a biologic variable into their (and others') thinking in clinical medicine. The Leadership Administrative Core (LAC) is essential in providing an infrastructure to monitor, integrate, and synergize ongoing activities.
The specific aims of the LAC are to: Coordinate activities of the SCORE; Administer budgets, insuring financial responsibility and coordination across sites and activities; and Disseminate knowledge through online tools, organizing symposia and workshops and other avenues to connect the SCORE with the medical community, policy makers, NIH, and the public.

Public Health Relevance

The goals of the proposed SCORE are to identify stress-immune pathway abnormalities beginning in fetal development that impact key stress-related neural circuits resulting in shared consequences for sex differences in lifelong depression and autonomic and other physiologic dysregulation. Our SCORE proposes a set of synergistic basic and clinical studies in tandem with cores to share technological expertise and enhance the training of the next generation. The LAC will oversee responsibility for: maintaining connections between sites and studies, setting up meetings and conference calls to review study progress, budget administration, organizing symposia and conferences, publicizing opportunities for trainees, supporting new initiatives, and implementing dissemination of the knowledge gained to the scientific and medical communities, policy makers, and the public.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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