One Mind Rising Star Awards

The One Mind Rising Star Awards identify and fund pivotal, innovative research on the causes of and cures for brain disorders by supporting the most promising emerging leaders in the field of neuropsychiatry. Each awardee will receive $250,000 from One Mind over a three year-period to fund research for their studies, catalyzing innovations not yet supported by the federal government while encouraging collaboration and data sharing.

“This year’s five Rising Stars are advancing their fields in brilliant ways, and I am proud that One Mind will support their work over the next three years. We at One Mind extend our profound thanks to our donors and especially to our amazing sponsors for enabling us to offer an unprecedented five Rising Star Awards in 2019. I look forward to the discoveries these young scientists will make, toward healing the lives of individuals and families.”

Brandon Staglin, One Mind President

2019 Award Winners

In collaboration with Janssen Research & Development, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Kaiser Permanente, the Gifford Foundation and Bettina Bryant, in 2019, One Mind awarded five Rising Star Awards, who were each selected by our One Mind Scientific Advisory Board.

Stephan Lammel Research


2019 One Mind – Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award


2019 One Mind – Bettina Bryant Rising Star Depression Research Award

Jennifer M. Coughlin Research


2019 One Mind – Gifford Foundation Rising Star Schizophrenia Research Award

Dr. Lammel is Assistant Professor of Neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on depression as well as addiction, including substance use disorder and severe eating disorders, which represent a major threat to public health and an enormous socioeconomic burden. Dr. Lammel’s study, entitled “Decoding multiple dimensions of dopamine signaling for impulse control” aims to provide a detailed understanding of how different brain circuits interact to mediate behavioral suppression (or fail to do so).

Dr. Lewis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Her study, “Identifying intersecting network dynamics underlying sleep and mood in depression” focuses on the unexpected observation that sleep deprivation rapidly improves symptoms in roughly 50% of individuals with depression. Why this happens is unknown, and her research uses newly developed brain imaging techniques to understand the biological interactions between sleep and depression.

Dr. Coughlin is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Her study “Transdiagnostic imaging of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in recent-onset psychosis” builds upon post-mortem studies that demonstrated alterations in binding to the receptor in selected regions of the brain.  She aims to use sophisticated imaging tools to further investigate these alterations and ultimately enable more targeted and effective treatments for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Denise Cai Research


2019 One Mind – Otsuka Rising Star Research Award

Carl Sellgren Majkowitz Research


2019 One Mind – Kaiser Permanente Rising Star Research Award

Dr. Cai is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research, entitled “Temporal memory-linking: a circuit mechanism of PTSD” investigates how memories of traumatic events can be linked across time and trigger a fearful response in a safe environment. Using state of the art genetic and brain imaging tools, her experiments will provide critical insight into how we integrate current and past experiences to make predictions about the future.

Dr. Sellgren Majkowitz is Assistant Professor at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. His study, entitled “Targeting the rewiring of the connectome in adolescence to prevent schizophrenia” addresses key gaps in knowledge around the hypothesis that excessive synaptic pruning during brain development contributes to the observed reduction in synapse density in schizophrenia.

Why One Mind Support Matters

One Mind launched the Rising Star Awards program 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 mental health disorders that affect 1 in 4 people worldwide. Knowing that 90% of these disorders are treatable, we wanted to create a highly impactful grant award that enables the researcher to think outside of the box and pursue research that might not otherwise be funded through federal organizations.

Since 2005, One Mind has awarded 34 awards to some of the best and brightest early career brain scientists, who since receiving their awards, have gone on to make a significant impact both in the research they have done and in the brain health community as a whole. Such awardees include 2010 Rising Star Award winner, Dr. Joshua Gordon who now serves as the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

At $250,000 per award, distributed over a 3-year period, the One Mind Rising Star Awards provide a dollar amount significant enough to truly support the research being done. The awards also provide early-career recognition that helps attract significant follow-on funding.

Rising Star Awards Video

Award Application Information

The application for the 2020 Rising Star Awards will be listed on this page no later than March of 2020. In the meantime, below is some general information about the award.

  • The project period for the awards is 3 years.
  • The total funding for each award is $250,000, of which $83,333 will be distributed annually. Continuation of the awards for the second and third years of the research are dependent upon review of an annual progress report by the Chair of the One Mind Scientific Advisory Board and the One Mind Director of Science and Technology.
  • Indirect costs are limited to a maximum of 10% and will be taken from the direct costs.
  • To qualify as an early career investigator, candidates should be within 10 years of their initial independent appointment.
  • Candidates should have demonstrated productivity and innovation in a scientific field that can be applied to the study of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder, depression, posttraumatic stress, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, and other research relevant to brain health.
  • Awardees will be invited to attend One Mind’s 25th Music Festival for Brain Health activities on September 13 – 14, 2019 and to give a presentation about their award-winning research plans at the Music Festival’s Scientific Symposium.
  • The proposal should not overlap with existing funding.
  • Applicants may apply for the One Mind/Inscopix Technology Grant only as a supplement to a Rising Star Award proposal. Applicants cannot solely apply to the Technology Grant.

Rising Star Research Awards:

Proposals for a Rising Star Research Award that are directed at understanding fundamental characteristics and biological mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction are within scope, as well as the translation of basic science mechanisms into better diagnostics and treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders. Note that proposals on schizophrenia research are of particular interest. In addition, studies that use existing data and collaborations to accelerate discovery and knowledge are encouraged. Examples of relevant research include, but are not limited to studies that aim to:

  • Discover biological mechanisms of neuropsychiatric and/or neurotraumatic disorder(s);
  • Identify pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic targets;
  • Develop new models or refine existing models for studying neuropsychiatric and/or neurotraumatic disorders;
  • Develop new tools or improve existing tools for studying brain health;
  • Identify or advance biomarker development for neuropsychiatric disorder(s);
  • Develop targeted therapies to prevent the onset or progression of neuropsychiatric disorders, mitigate their negative effects on brain function and behavior, or promote recovery;
  • Characterize similarities and differences in biological mechanisms between two or more neuropsychiatric disorders, and/or characterize the effects of comorbid conditions on diagnosis, prognosis, and treatments;
  • Externally validate promising biomarkers, diagnostic tools, and treatments;
  • Compare the effects of treatments on whole or select patient populations; or
  • Generate new hypotheses from existing clinical data and test them in relevant pre-clinical or computational models, or in small pilot clinical studies.

Applicants to any of the 2019 Rising Star Awards whose proposal can be enhanced by optical interrogation of neural circuit/ensemble dynamics are encouraged to apply for this supplemental award from Inscopix. In total, 3 Inscopix Technology Grants will be awarded. The supplement for each awardee includes:

  • 1 state-of-the-art nVoke miniature microscope system for integrated in vivo Ca+2 imaging and optogenetics (simultaneous or sequential) in the brains of freely behaving mice. Applicants can request an nVista system in lieu of nVoke should their proposal require only Ca+2 imaging either in the mouse brain and/or in the rat neocortex and hippocampus.
  • Full scientific support including a dedicated Field Scientific Consultant for the duration of the project to provide on-site training and guidance to the awardees, from experimental design to data analysis. The award will also provide an opportunity to engage with Inscopix’s transdisciplinary team of neuroscientists, data scientists, and engineers.
  • Full technical support including iCare (no questions asked repair and replacement service, for the duration of the award).

For complete details and scope parameters for the Inscopix Technology Supplement Grant, please read the 2019 Rising Star Award RFP.

For more information about the Rising Star Awards RFP, please visit our Rising Star Awards FAQ page.

Top Brain Scientists

Click the Years to See Past Awardees: 

Dr. Susanne Ahmari 2018 One Mind / Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award in Honor of the Late Jeffrey S. Nye, M.D., Ph.D..identify novel molecular targets for OCD. University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Paul Jenkins – 2018 One Mind Rising Star Bipolar Disorder Translational Research Award. Therapeutic Modulation of ANK3 Dependent GABAergic Circuitry. University of Michigan.

Dr. Erin Dunn – 2018 One Mind Peter Chiarelli Rising Star Collaborative Research Award. Understanding why childhood stress is a major risk factor for depression in adolescents and young adults. Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Alik S. Widge 2017 One Mind / Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award in Memory of Jeffrey S. Nye M.D., Ph.D.. Engineering Brain Circuits to Improve Mental Flexibility. University of Minnesota.

Dr. Ian Maze – 2017 Rising Star Early Diagnostics Basic Research Award. Predicting depression risk and treatment response through blood chemistry. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Kate Fitzgerald 2016 One Mind / AIM for Mental Health Rising Star Research Award. Effortful control of training: a brain-targeted intervention for clinically anxious preschoolers. University of Michigan.

Dr. Mazen Kheirbek – 2016 One Mind / Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award. Illuminating Circuit Based Targets for Treatment of Depression. University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Mary Kay Lobo – 2016 One Mind / Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award. Stabilizing Neuronal Architecture for Depression Therapeutics. University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Katie McLaughlin2015 One Mind / AIM Rising Star Award. Understanding How Stress Causes Anxiety and Depression in Youth. Harvard University.

Dr. Conor Liston – 2015 Janssen / One Mind Rising Star Translational Research Award. Neurobiologically Distinguishing Depression Subtypes. Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Jean-Martin Beaulieu – 2014 One Mind / Johnson & Johnson Rising Star Translational Research Award. Developing Potentially Safer Bipolar Disorder Treatments. University of Toronto.

Dr. Stephanie Dulawa – 2014 One Mind Rising Star Depression Award in Memory of George Largay. Developing Faster-Onset Antidepressants. University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Philip Corlett – 2013 Janssen / One Mind Rising Star Translational Research Award. Potassium Channels and Prediction Error: Targeting Schizophrenia with Retigabine. Yale University.

Dr. Kafui Dzirasa – 2013 Janssen / One Mind Rising Star Translational Research Award. Closed Loop Actuators to Repair Brain Circuit Dysfunction. Duke University.

Dr. Scott Russo – 2012 Johnson & Johnson / One Mind Rising Star Translational Research Award. Investigating the Anti-Depressant Efficacy of Anti-Inflammatory Medications. Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Colleen McClung – 2012 Johnson & Johnson / One Mind Rising Star Translational Research Award. Investigating Specific HDAC Gene Inhibition as a Novel Bipolar Disorder Treatment. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Ming-Hu Han – 2011 Johnson & Johnson / IMHRO Rising Star Translational Research Award. Understanding Stress Resilience to Remedy Depression. Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Jun Li – 2011 Johnson & Johnson / One Mind Rising Star Translational Research Award. Seeking Out High-Risk Bipolar Disorder Candidate Genes. University of Michigan.

Dr. Lisa Monteggia – 2011 One Mind Rising Star Basic Research Award. Reverse-Engineering the Rapid Antidepressant Effect of Ketamine. Vanderbilt.

Dr. Joshua Gordon – 2010 One Mind Rising Star Award. Investigating the Circuit Basis for Psychiatric Diseases. Columbia University.

Dr. Herman Wolosker – 2010 One Mind Rising Star Award. Rebalancing a Novel Neurotransmitter to Treat Schizophrenia. Technion Institute, Israel.

Dr. Olivier Berton – 2010 One Mind Rising Star Award. Evaluating How to Use Stress-Governing Proteins to Diagnose, Treat or Prevent Affective Disorders. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Dr. Andrew Pieper – 2009 One Mind Rising Star Award. Developing Potential Therapies for Schizophrenia and Neurodegenerative Diseases. University of Iowa.

Dr. Francis Lee – 2009 One Mind Rising Star Award. Investigating the Role of a Growth Factor Deficiency in Affective Disorders. Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Hongjun Song – 2009 One Mind Rising Star Award. Understanding a Schizophrenia Susceptibility Gene’s Effect on Neural Growth. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Schahram Akbarian – 2008 Staglin Music Festival / NARSAD Rising Star Award. Discovering the Workings of the Epigenome. University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Akira Sawa – 2007 Staglin Music Festival / NARSAD Rising Star Award. Understanding Why DISC1 is a Schizophrenia Risk Gene – And What to Do About It. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Eva Anton – 2006 Staglin Music Festival / NARSAD Rising Star Award. Demonstrating the NRG1 Gene as an Interneuron Migration Governor. University of North Carolina.

Dr. Linda Brzustowicz – 2005 Staglin Music Festival / NARSAD Rising Star Award. Identifying Schizophrenia Gene Interaction and Expression. Rutgers University.

See Geographically Where the Rising Star Awardees Are From:

Click the map below to see where each of the past Rising Star Award winners are from. The interactive map lists each awardee’s affiliated university, the year they won their award and the focus of their award-supported research.

Read about past Rising Star Awardees and other One Mind funded researchers on our Research Updates page.

For more information on the Rising Star Awards, please contact us.

Kafui Dzirasa Research Testimonial