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Collaborative Team to Study Novel Treatment for Schizophrenia

Oct. 31, 2012

Researchers at Marquette University, Concordia University and Rogers Memorial Hospital received a one-year, $50,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) to study possible new pharmaceutical treatments for schizophrenia.

M. Behnam Ghasemzadeh, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences at Marquette University, is the primary investigator of the grant. Co-primary investigators are Dan Sem, Ph.D., Concordia University; Kambiz Pahlavan, M.D., Rogers Memorial Hospital; and Joe McGraw, Concordia University.

Schizophrenia is a devastating chronic mental disorder for which there is a lack of new and effective medication. The researchers participating in this pilot study have identified a novel signaling mechanism in the brain that will be explored for treatment of schizophrenia symptoms. The long-term goal of this proposal is to develop drug candidates for clinical testing.

This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI. The goal is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

TSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments, and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from the National Institutes of Health, the John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award, and both MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin program, and MCW’s Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center.

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