September 21, 2016
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Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund's E-newsletter
This e-newsletter has been sent to you because you are a friend or past supporter of the Prechter Fund at the University of Michigan Depression Center. If you would like to unsubscribe, you can do so on the bottom of this newsletter or by emailing our communications manager. 
10th Annual Prechter Lecture 
You're invited - in person or via webcast


Featuring: Mimi Baird
Author of: He Wanted the Moon - The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird and His Daughter's Quest to Know Him

“Extraordinary… utterly impossible to put down.” — The New York Times

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
6:00 - 9:00 p.m., University of Michigan, Kahn Auditorium

>Featured speaker
>Panel discussion about the present and future of research in bipolar disorder

This event is free and open to the public, but we ask you to please RSVP on our website
If you are unable to attend, please join us via webcast.

Visit our event page for event details and background on Mimi Baird's amazing book. We are honored to have her join us for the 10th annual Prechter lecture. 
2016 Prechter Fund Research Impact Report


The 2016 research impact report chronicles the Prechter Fund’s recent activities, initiatives and achievements. Read the entire report on our website.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognize and extend our gratitude to those individuals and organizations who have supported bipolar disorder research at the University of Michigan. We thank them for their generosity and the difference they are making in bipolar research and treatment.
Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder reaches 1,200 participants

The Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder is our flagship study. The goal of this study is to identify potential illness patterns in bipolar disorder. It is the largest long-term research study for this illness and has been ongoing for eleven years. The study is designed to gather detailed clinical and biological data for research on the course of bipolar disorder and its outcomes by following and monitoring participants over their lifetime. We track patterns of disease, responses, and outcomes to interventions, and keep participants engaged in both their ongoing care and research of the illness. 

"What makes this program so unique is that it is 'longitudinal,' meaning it follows patients over time to learn how to predict the outcome of the illness, identify personalized treatments that prevent episodes, and provide the opportunity for health and success." - Melvin McInnis, M.D., FRCPsych, Prechter Fund research director

Read more about this milestone.
U-M scientists part of $15 million initiative to understand bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Partnership of government, academics and industry will develop new ways of studying and screening drugs for major psychiatric illnesses using stem cells

Can stem cells help reveal the roots of mental illness, and open the door to better treatment? 

A team of University of Michigan scientists who have helped pioneer this approach will now work with researchers around the country, in a $15 million national effort to take the research to a new level. This team will play a key role in a new scientific consortium that will develop ways to quickly screen libraries of drugs for potential effectiveness against schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 

These systems will be based on stem cells specific to those mental illnesses, including ones first developed five years ago by U-M scientists funded by the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund. 

The consortium, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and led by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, includes four academic or nonprofit institutions and two industry partners. 

Read the entire press release.
NAMI awards major research fellowship to U-M Department of Psychiatry


The University of Michigan Health System's Department of Psychiatry recently received a five-year grant from NAMI to support a NAMI research fellow. "One of the most important things about this grant is that our research fellows will help individuals who live with serious mental illnesses and their families feel more connected to research," said NAMI Medical Director Ken Duckworth, M.D.

The University of Michigan has chosen Aislinn Williams, M.D., Ph.D., who is part of the Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, as the first fellow. She will do research work in first episode psychosis, with Stephan F. Taylor, M.D., as mentor. Areas of study will include stem cell research, digital application of symptom monitoring, and pharmacogenetics. A close working relationship is planned between NAMI and the University of Michigan: Dr. Williams will attend and present at NAMI's annual convention, contribute to NAMI's resources, and discuss her research work with NAMI members in person or via media.

Read the entire article.
The Prechter Fund at the NAMI National Convention


The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National Convention took place in Denver, CO, from July 6-9, 2016. The Prechter Bipolar Research Fund participation in this year's convention was two-fold: we were honored to give the research update on bipolar disorder and we had a booth in the exhibit hall.

The research update drew a large crowd – about 400 attendees came to hear Gloria Harrington, L.M.S.W., C.C.R.P.  and Simon J. Evans, Ph.D. speak about "Bipolar Longitudinal Studies: Impact and Future State." The audience learned that bipolar disorder affects individuals across their lifespan and therefore must be studied longitudinally. The presentation also highlighted the relationship between the microbiome and bipolar disorder, the application of smartphone technology to predict the onset of mood changes in advance of a pending clinical episode, and the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to predict personalized response to treatment strategies. 

The entire presentation can be viewed and downloaded on the convention website.

Our booth in the exhibit hall was equally as successful: there was a constant stream of attendees stopping by to chat with us about our research program. Many pointed out how glad they were to see "research" represented in the exhibit hall. We were able to give people living with bipolar disorder and their family members and friends hope that research is being done to shed light onto this illness and, ultimately, to personalize treatment of bipolar disorder and prevent recurrences to enable people to lead healthy and productive lives.
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The mission of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund is to provide a repository of longitudinal clinical, genetic, and biological data to investigators worldwide for collaborative research on the causes, prevention, and treatment of bipolar disorder.
© 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan

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Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund | University of Michigan Depression Center 4250 Plymouth Road | Ann Arbor | MI | 48109-2700 
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