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SOM Stimulus Information

Mental Health

Raquel E. Gur, MD, PhD, professor of Psychiatry, is the principal investigator of a Grand Opportunity stimulus grant. This collaborative effort with CHOP, led by Hakon Hakonarson MD, PhD, totals $20 million. Gur and her Penn and CHOP colleagues aim to collect brain-behavior information that is pertinent to understanding healthy brain development and mental health in 10,000 young people ages 8 to 21. This will create a landmark dataset topropel understanding and treatment of developmental mental illnesses. Data linking behavior and genetics to brain structure and function is needed in large sample sizes to identify disorders earlier, better understand the development of common mental illnesses that emerge in childhood and adolescence, including anxiety, ADHD, depression and psychosis, and ultimately design novel treatments. The Gur lab has hired close to 20 people (more to come) to gather information on mental health traits via a laptop-based survey from children who have already had their genes analyzed for a CHOP database of genomic data. One thousand of the 10,000 will also have their brains scanned to look for connections among brain structure and function, genetics, and outward behavioral traits.

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