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Two Prominent Researchers Take Helm of PRIME

Two Prominent Researchers Take Helm of PRIME

Vilma Gabbay, M.D., M.S., and Jelena Radulovic, M.D., Ph.D., have been named co-directors of the Psychiatry Research Institute at Montefiore Einstein (PRIME).

The new center will integrate research in psychiatry and neuroscience to tackle urgent problems, such as trauma and stress disorders, substance-use disorders, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, as well as multicultural health and mental health disparities. PRIME is a joint initiative of the departments of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and of neuroscience, and exemplifies Einstein and Montefiore’s commitment to basic, translational, and clinical research.

Dr. Gabbay, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Einstein, and a clinical psychiatrist at Montefiore, studies the neurobiological basis of mood and anxiety disorders in young adults. She directs the Pediatric Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program at Einstein and Montefiore, and recently received a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the neurobiology of depression in teenagers.

“PRIME is committed to pursuing meaningful advances in understanding and treating mental illness,” Dr. Gabbay says. “Together, Dr. Radulovic and I will support and mentor teams of investigators—from medical and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to early-career scientists.”

Dr. Radulovic, professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, uses animal models to study how memories of stressful events cause fear, anxiety, and depression. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health since 2006.

She is leading a research project focusing on the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms involved in the brain’s processing, storage, and recall of negative memories and the roles they play in the development of depression.

“The challenges of researching these questions connected to mental health disorders are big—but so is the excitement and promise of our work at PRIME,” Dr. Radulovic says. “If we can discover more about the mechanisms in brain circuits that are affected, we can work toward developing treatments.”

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