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Young investigator is first Yale recipient of NIH Early Independence Award

October 01, 2012
by Shane Seger

Alan Anticevic, PhD, associate research scientist in psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, is one of fourteen recipients of the NIH Director's Early Independence Award. The award recognizes talented junior scientists and accelerates their transition to independent research. Anticevic is the first Yale investigator to receive the honor.

Anticevic's research aims to understand the origins of cognitive dysfunction in humans at the cellular level. He employs an innovative research approach, which combines behavioral, pharmacological, neuroimaging and mathematical modeling techniques. His ultimate goal is to improve treatments for schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses.

"For someone at his career stage, Dr. Anticevic has a strong background in both conceptual and technical aspects of functional neuroimaging and its application to psychiatric disorders," said John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil Jr. Professor of Translational Research and psychiatry department chair at Yale. "He has a tremendous track record of conducting and publishing state-of-the-art clinical cognitive neuroscience research and has the capacity to make significant contributions to the field of psychiatry."

Each institution may nominate only two early career scientists for consideration. The rigorous selection process requires the completion of a project-based proposal akin to an R01 grant application, and an interview at the National Institutes of Health. The host institution is expected to make a serious commitment to the success of the awardee.

Anticevic will conduct his research at the Connecticut Mental Health Center's Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities and Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit as well as the Yale Magnetic Resonance Research Center.

He received his PhD from Washington University in St. Louis where he trained with Deanna Barch, PhD, professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry and radiology; and David Van Essen, PhD, professor in and chair of the department of anatomy and neurobiology.

Following his doctoral training, Anticevic joined the Yale Department of Psychiatry research faculty and has worked closely with Krystal.

In September 2012, Anticevic was lead author of two published articles, one on the organization of large-scale brain networks that appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and a second that implicated the brain's medial prefrontal cortex in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, which appeared in Biological Psychiatry.

Anticevic currently serves as the administrative director for the NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism at Yale and is the recipient of a 2012 NARSAD Young Investigator Award.

Submitted by Shane Seger on October 01, 2012