A major emphasis at NKI is to conduct innovative and interdisciplinary research with discoveries made in basic science laboratories, followed by translating these discoveries into clinical application. The goal is to develop more effective and tailored treatments for a variety of psychological problems and to enable those affected with a psychiatric illness to live more productive, happier, healthier lives, thereby reducing the burden of mental illness on families and society.
Our research teams are studying genes and brain areas affected by psychiatric disorders in an effort to develop better therapies alongside more traditional treatments. Recent studies are helping scientists identify factors that increase the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, including a person’s genetic makeup and exposure to early life stress or brain trauma. Researchers are also finding structural differences in brains of people with some psychiatric disorders. We hope this information will create new paths to treatments that offer faster relief with fewer side effects, and diagnostic tests that identify psychiatric disorders earlier.