Every day, faculty members of The Friedman Brain Institute are making breakthroughs in how we understand and treat the brain. But we could not make these critical strides without the trust and generosity of our donors. Here we celebrate just a few of our recent, most transformational gifts.
Mount Sinai trustees Jeff and Lisa Blau have, through their philanthropy, helped create the Jeff and Lisa Blau Adolescent Consultation Center for Resilience and Treatment (“The Blau Center”). The Blau Center will serve as a clinical and research platform to increase our understanding of psychiatric illness, in particular schizophrenia, in order to improve treatments for patients suffering from the illness and develop new interventions for those at increased risk.
Under the leadership of René Kahn, MD, PhD, the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Alex Charney, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Neuroscience, and Neurosurgery, the focus of the Blau Center will be on schizophrenia, one of the most debilitating conditions. Over the past 15 years, a new understanding of its pathogenesis has emerged through genetics, epidemiology, and other disciplines. Yet, while knowledge has increased, there have been no breakthroughs in diagnosis, prevention, or treatment. Toward this end, the Blau Center will combine excellent clinical care with groundbreaking research.
Under the leadership of Rachel Yehuda, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, and Neuroscience, Mount Sinai is driving efforts to unlock the therapeutic potential of psychedelics such as MDMA with the creation of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research. Over the past several months, we have been humbled by the transformational philanthropy coming to support the critical work of Dr. Yehuda and this new center. The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation approved a $2.1 million grant for our clinical trials focused on veterans through the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Inherent Foundation committed to a $2 million infrastructure grant to ensure that the Center has the resources and personnel needed to be successful. And just recently, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation generously pledged $5 million to enable us to build and support the training and education of therapists using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and other psychedelic medicine approaches.
Mount Sinai trustee Marc Lipschultz and his wife, Jennifer, have committed more resources to the Lipschultz Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. This gift will further strengthen the team as they focus on understanding the neural mechanisms of higher cognitive function, and applying this knowledge to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of cognitive function in humans. Disruptions early in the development of the human brain set the stage for dysfunction later in life, so studying the circuit mechanisms of cognitive function in the context of development is vital to understanding how diseases of thought and cognition occur.