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Jonas to Study Bipolar Disorder

January 18, 2022
by Jane E. Dee

Elizabeth Jonas, MD, professor of internal medicine (endocrinology) and of neuroscience, is among a team of investigators at Yale School of Medicine (YSM) who have received a Baszucki Brain Research Fund and Milken Institute grant for bipolar disorder therapeutic research.

YSM is one of 31 organizations that received a total of $9 million in grants to advance innovative bipolar science and treatment options. The grants will provide up to $200,000 per award to advance innovative bipolar science and treatment options.

Jonas will work with colleagues from YSM on the project, “A novel mitochondrial target as a therapeutic approach for bipolar disorder.” The lead investigator is Hilary P. Blumberg, MD,John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience, and in the Child Study Center Director of the Mood Disorders Research Program. Other team members are investigator In-Hyun Park, PhD, associate professor of genetics, and collaborator Kristen Brennand, PhD, professor of psychiatry.

The grant will allow the research team to study novel mitochondrial mechanisms in stem cell derived neurons from monocytes of individuals with deep phenotyping that includes neuroimaging.

The new grants are intended to further ignite the field by addressing the historical underfunding of bipolar research. Bipolar disorder affects roughly 3% of the population or nearly 45 million people worldwide. It is a serious mental health disorder with dramatic and sometimes unpredictable shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels that can lead to the loss of employment, strained relationships, and even suicide. Yet while it is a serious and often disabling mental health disorder, both the Baszucki family and the Milken Institute recognize that with the right treatments, recovery is possible.

Yale’s Section of Endocrinology & Metabolism works to improve the health of individuals with endocrine and metabolic diseases by advancing scientific knowledge; applying new information to patient care; and training the next generation of physicians and scientists to become leaders in the field. To learn more about their work, visit Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Submitted by Jane E. Dee on January 18, 2022