News From the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

In Memoriam: Constance Lieber

Constance Lieber

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I'm writing to let you know of Constance Lieber's passing on January 15th. As you know, Connie was a deeply caring and visionary philanthropist, and along with her husband Stephen has had a tremendous impact on psychiatric research and treatment. Connie, who served as President of the Foundation from 1989 to 2007, felt that research was the best avenue to find meaningful and lasting solutions to alleviate the suffering caused by mental illness. Watch tribute video.



Researchers Catalog Subtle but Widespread Schizophrenia-Associated Differences in Gene Activity

Panela Sklar

Researchers have identified nearly 700 genes whose activity levels differ in the brains of people with schizophrenia compared to individuals without the disorder. Most of the differences they found were subtle, consistent with the idea that variations in many genes contribute to the risk of schizophrenia, each alone having a small effect. The new findings, published September 26 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, report the largest catalogue of genetic influences on brain gene expression and begin to illuminate the biological consequences of such genetic variations associated with schizophrenia. The team of researchers was led by Pamela B. Sklar, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a NARSAD 1995 and 1998 Young Investigator and 2006 Independent Investigator, and BBRF Scientific Council Member. Read more….


Study Finds Some Autism- and Schizophrenia-Related Genes May Also Be Involved in Bipolar Disorder 

James Potash

Bipolar disorder runs in families, but researchers have struggled to identify specific genetic factors that put people at risk. Now, by scrutinizing the genes of thousands of people with and without the disorder, researchers have identified more than a dozen rare gene variants that may be involved. Their findings suggest that bipolar disorder may share some genetic roots with other psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and autism. The research was led by Fernando S. Goes, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2008 and 2015 Young Investigator and first author of the paper reporting the findings June 1 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, and James B. Potash, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, a NARSAD 2000 Young Investigator, 2008 Independent Investigator, and BBRF Scientific Council Member. Read more….


Location: New York, NY, US

Founded: 1987

President: Jeffrey Borenstein, MD

Description: The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.

BBRF invests 100 percent of all donor contributions for research in NARSAD Grants leading to discoveries in understanding causes and improving treatments, in children and adults, of disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

For more than 25 years, we have awarded more than $342 million worldwide to more than 4,000 scientists carefully selected by our prestigious Scientific Council.