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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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Psychiatry is and will continue to be the major beneficiary of advances in neuroscience and genetics during the 21st century.
The Taylor Family Institute is uniquely positioned to promote a pipeline of discovery to treatment. Conventional support considers only fragments of this pipeline.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.