IU Medical School Psychiatrist Receives Coveted Young Investigator NARSAD Award
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University School of Medicine researcher Leslie A. Hulvershorn, M.D., is the recipient of a Young Investigator Award from NARSAD: The Brain and Behavior Research Fund, which has awarded $12.6 million in new grants for promising potential breakthroughs in understanding and treating mental illness.
Dr. Hulvershorn, an assistant professor of psychiatry, will receive $60,000 as one of the 214 researchers from leading research institutes on six continents to have been selected from more than 1,000 applicants for the 2011 prize.
Dr. Hulvershorn will conduct the first neuroimaging study to determine the neural mechanisms underlying the clinical effects of long-acting methylphenidate (Concerta™) on emotion regulation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The research involves conducting functional MRI scans of a test group of 10- to 14-year-olds before and after treatment with methylphenidate while they perform computer-based tasks probing emotion regulation. Brain scans will be compared pre- and post-treatment. With further testing, evidence of normalization of brain circuitry with Concerta may contribute to a shift in clinical use toward stimulant medications and away from antipsychotic and anticonvulsant medications that have more adverse side effects.
“I am honored to have received this funding from NARSAD. It comes at a critical point in my research career. I hope to start to address some of the many unanswered questions in child psychiatry,” said Dr. Hulvershorn, chief of the Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic and Adolescent Dual Diagnosis Clinic and director of the Laboratory of Developmental Affective Neuroscience at the IU School of Medicine.
Since 1987 NARSAD has been a leader in the development of mental health research and has awarded more than $274 million in 4,046 grants to 3,319 scientists worldwide.
“The Young Investigator program is a hallmark of NARSAD grants, funding the research of young scientists on the quest to find breakthroughs in the field of mental health,” said Benita Shobe, NARSAD president and CEO. “This body of research represents the cutting-edge of brain and behavior research. Young Investigators are selected for their innovation and potential to improve the lives of people living with mental illness through enhanced treatments and therapies and a better understanding of the causes of mental illness.”