Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research

The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) is supporting The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The Stanley Center is directed by Dr. Edward Scolnick, who founded the Broad Institute’s Psychiatric Initiative.

After many years of supporting a broad portfolio of research on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, SMRI is concentrating major resources towards the support of the new research facility that is believed to be without equal anywhere in the world. The Stanley Center will bring together scientists from diverse fields and institutions to develop a comprehensive view of the molecular underpinnings of severe mental illness and to determine if these molecular abnormalities can become viable targets for new treatments.

Dr. Scolnick’s team plans to use the largest collection of DNA samples ever assembled from patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in order to scan the entire genome for gene variants that predispose to these illnesses. In addition to the genetics research, the SMRI funds will support a program in chemical biology. This program will allow for the rapid screening of hundred of thousands of compounds against new molecular targets, and the refinement of these compounds to the point that they can become available for clinical testing.