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Washington University Receives $10 Million to Research Psychiatric Illness

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Washington University in St. Louis has received a $10 million gift to improve the diagnosis and treatment regimens for psychiatric illnesses.

Donated by philanthropists Andrew and Barbara Taylor and the Crawford Taylor Foundation to support the Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research, the gift will advance its research into depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

The Taylors established the institute in 2012 with an initial donation of $20 million.

The university will spend $7 million from the gift on investigating the scientific underpinnings of such illnesses and how to develop effective therapies for disorders. The additional $3 million will endow a distinguished professorship at the institute.

“The Taylor family’s initial investment to launch the institute was instrumental in helping our scientists make discoveries that hold great promise for stemming the burden of mental illness, and their continued support bolsters our ability to work on the therapeutic frontiers of psychiatry,” David H. Perlmutter, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, said.

“The institute is pursuing an exciting platform for drug development that could impact severe mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia and various forms of depression, and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.”

In the past, the institute has developed various tools to study the roles of brain chemicals, neurosteroids and oxysterols in regulating cognition, emotion and motivation.

Last week, the university’s School of Medicine received a $100 million research grant from Centene Corp. to find treatments for breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity as well.

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