Working together to diminish the impact of psychiatric illness


Exploring a new way to diagnose mental illness

New grant from the National Institute of Mental Health will fund study of structural and functional connectivity of patients with psychiatric disorders.

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Laughing gas studied as depression treatment

Results from pilot study indicate improvement after receiving nitrous oxide in two-thirds of patients with treatment-resistant depression.

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New clue to autism found inside brain cells

Study indicates activity of mGlu5 receptors plays role in memory, social and cognitive problems.

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New target explored for psychiatric drug development

Naturally occurring molecule could offer new treatments for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

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Human Connectome Project releases data on brain connectivity

Initial data from groundbreaking study includes brain imaging and behavioral information.

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Medication and talk therapy for anxiety in seniors

New multicenter study finds escitalopram and cognitive behavioral therapy, when used in combination, are effective in treating anxiety disorders in older adults.

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Brain differences seen in depressed preschoolers

Study from Washington University researchers shows elevated activity in the amygdala of preschoolers with depression.

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About the Institute
Novel Therapeutics
Lifestyle Interventions
Clinical Affiliates

Launched in 2012 with visionary support of Andrew and Barbara Taylor and the Crawford Taylor Foundation, the Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is focused on changing the landscape of mental health.

Our Approach
Step 1
Step 2
Drug discovery / synthesis
Step 3
Step 4
Testing on ion
channels and
brain cells
Step 5
Testing in circuits
Step 6
Testing in animal models
Step 7
Scaled up chemistry
Step 8
Toxicity testing
Step 9
Human trials

The Institute brings together a broad, innovative network of collaborators dedicated to drug discovery, the development of novel therapeutics, lifestyle interventions and clinical applications to improve the outcomes of individuals with psychiatric illnesses.

The Collaborators
10 investigators
6 laboratories
4 departments

Harnessing the expertise of four departments and six laboratories at Washington University School of Medicine, Phase I of the Institute’s work focuses on neurosteroids, compounds that alter brain function and are naturally produced by the nervous system.

A unique industry partnership with Sage Therapeutics will allow opportunities for novel biochemical targets to travel more rapidly down the drug development pipeline and into clinical application.

The Impact
Psychiatric disorders affect more than
80 million Americans.
disorders affect about
of people around the world.
estimates from the World Health Organization

Psychiatric disorders involve dysfunction in brain networks, which manifest in cognitive, emotional and motivational symptoms in disorders that include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders and schizophrenia.

Effective treatments for individuals with psychiatric disorders will come from understanding and altering the function of brain networks. Since its founding in 2012, the Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research has drawn upon a longstanding legacy in understanding the biology, neuroanatomy and genetics of psychiatric disorders in its mission to prevent and cure psychiatric illness.

The Future

The pipeline from initial drug discovery to clinical application and treatment is long and requires significant funding resources. While the number of those touched by psychiatric disorders is great, government funding for the development of novel treatments is limited.

Your support to help cure and prevent psychiatric illness is vital.
Join with us in our mission to help change the future.

Ways to Give
C.F. Zorumski, MD
Samuel B. Guze Professor and Head of Psychiatry

Psychiatry is and will continue to be the major beneficiary of advances in neuroscience and genetics during the 21st century.

Steven Mennerick, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry

The Taylor Family Institute is uniquely positioned to promote a pipeline of discovery to treatment.  Conventional support considers only fragments of this pipeline.

Gustav Akk, PhD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Molecular Cell Biology

The unique synergy of interactions among Washington University faculty uniquely positions the Taylor Family Institute to advance the diagnosis, treatment and care of psychiatric illness.

David Reichert, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiology

Institute members collaborate on the use of computer modeling to understand how atypical compounds bind to and effect receptors in a manner different from the commonly studied molecules.

Yukitoshi Izumi, MD, PhD
Research Professor of Psychiatry

Innovative development of new treatments will require sustained effort over the years. It is challenging to conduct this type of research based solely on governmental funding.

Alex Evers, MD
Henry E.Mallinckrodt Professor and Head of Anesthesiology

Currents drugs target a very small number of proteins and are not adequately effective. We aim to expand the range of target proteins — opening up the possibility of different and more effective treatments.

David Wozniak, PhD
Research Professor of Psychiatry, Director, Animal Behavior Core

Our goal is to construct models that will not only be valid but also reliable and efficient for the testing of many different neurosteroid drugs, which may have efficacy in treating mental illness.