One Mind Announces the 2023 Rising Star Awards Funding Innovative Research in Mental Health

One Mind Announces the 2023 Rising Star Awards

$900,000 total funds awarded to three emerging leaders in neuropsychiatry pursuing highly impactful research to benefit people living with psychiatric disorders and the mental healthcare system.

August 15, 2023, Rutherford, CA – One Mind™, a leading mental health non-profit, has announced the three recipients of the 2023 One Mind Rising Star Awards. Each emerging leader will receive a $300,000 research grant, distributed over three years, to support their ongoing research to benefit people living with psychiatric disorders and the mental healthcare system. In addition to funding, the awardees will participate in the prestigious One Mind Rising Star Leadership Program, through which they will receive hands-on training and access to resources to make an impact on the larger mental health ecosystem.  

The One Mind Rising Star Awards supports early-career investigators in neuroscience, psychiatry, and related disciplines who pursue research to advance the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. These include, but are not limited to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and suicidality. The awardees are selected through a competitive grants process administered by One Mind’s Scientific Advisory Board, which includes ten of the world’s leading scientists and clinicians.

“We are excited to continue transforming the world’s mental health by supporting this new cohort of the 2023 One Mind Rising Stars.” states One Mind President Brandon Staglin. “We extend our gratitude to our sponsors, the Deyo, Hall, and Riccitiello families, for providing these three promising scientists with the resources they need to further their success. We are eager to support these visionary scientists who bring new insights, approaches, spirit of risk-taking, and a sense of urgency to this complex field, as they forge the next generation of mental health solutions”.

This year’s awardees and their areas of research are:

Arpiar Saunders, PhD, Assistant Professor, Vollum Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, recipient of the 2023 One Mind-Ben Langford and Nicholas Hall Rising Star Award:

Analysis of synaptic rewiring driven by schizophrenia-associated ion channels: Brain function is enabled by synaptic connections, and genetic studies implicate synaptic proteins in serious mental illness. Yet how mutant synaptic proteins affect brain wiring is largely unknown. By developing viral genomic technologies that describe neural circuits at scale, Dr. Arpiar Saunders aims to understand how schizophrenia-associated mutations in glutamate receptors alter neural wiring throughout the brain. In discovering the relationship between gene-specific mutations and neural miswiring, Saunders will help open the door for personalized therapeutics.

Claudia Lugo-Candelas, PhD, Assistant Professor, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, recipient of the 2023 One Mind-Luther Family Rising Star Award:  

Prenatal sleep health – An untapped intervention target for the intergenerational prevention of mood and anxiety disorders: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have a lasting negative impact that may extend to the next generation. Poor gestational sleep can impact a child’s neurodevelopment and has been documented in persons with a history of ACEs, creating a cycle of increased risk for psychiatric illness. By examining alterations to prenatal melatonin secretion as the mediator between ACEs and poor sleep, Dr. Lugo-Candelas seeks to identify how ACEs are passed on. Her discoveries will provide targets for mental health interventions.

Ignacio Saez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, recipient of the 2023 One Mind-Russ and Stephanie Deyo Rising Star Award 

Computational psychiatry for patient-tailored stimulation treatment of depression: Despite depression being the leading cause of disability, current treatments are often ineffective. Dr. Ignacio Saez proposes a new method for understanding depression: record electrical activity and pinpoint the changes necessary to treat their symptoms. By directly recording neural activity during neurosurgery, in combination with decision-making tasks, Dr. Saez will determine the nature of brain coordinated activity during reward processing, how it changes with depression, and propose novel paradigms to treat changes in reward processing and mood.

The 2023 Rising Stars will present their research at a special Science & Innovation Symposium organized during the 29th One Mind Music Festival for Brain Health. The event, sponsored by Rogers Behavioral Health, will be held at the Staglin Family Vineyard in Rutherford, California on Saturday, September 9th, 2023. Those interested in attending the scientific symposium in-person can register in advance here


About One Mind™

Launched in 1995 by Shari and Garen Staglin as their means to “run toward the problem” of their son’s schizophrenia diagnosis, One Mind is today a leading mental health non-profit that heals lives by direct support for neuropsychiatric brain research. By convening the brightest minds in brain science and advocacy around a collective vision of “Accelerating Brain Health for All”, One Mind is advancing a three-pronged program strategy of accelerating discoveries, improving services, and transforming culture. Through such achievements as enrolling over 10,000 patients in innovative clinical studies and the One Mind at Work initiative that has brought supportive workplace mental health practices to over 7 million employees, One Mind is creating a world where all facing brain health challenges can build healthy, productive lives. Brandon Staglin, whose own experiences triggered the creation of the non-profit, now serves as its President, exemplifying the change One Mind seeks in its disruptive research and workplace initiatives.

About One Mind™ Rising Star Awards

One Mind launched the Rising Star Awards in 2005 under the fundamental principle that cutting edge, high-risk research would allow us to find the breakthroughs to accelerate cures for the neuropsychiatric illnesses that affect 1 in 4 people worldwide. Knowing that 90% of these conditions are treatable, we wanted to create a highly impactful grant that enables the researcher to think outside of the box and pursue research that might not otherwise be federally funded. Each One Mind Rising Star Award winner receives $300,000 over a three-year period to fund research for their studies, catalyzing innovation and encouraging collaboration and data sharing. Since 2005, One Mind has awarded 40 awards to some of the best and brightest early career brain scientists. Since receiving their awards, these researchers have gone on to make a significant impact, both in their studies and in the brain health community as a whole. One such awardee is 2010 Rising Star Award winner, Dr. Joshua Gordon, who now serves as the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

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