|Web Forum Launched for Schizophrenia Researchers
Researchers trying to crack one of medicine’s most perplexing unsolved mysteries
can now keep abreast of late-breaking developments via the Schizophrenia Research
Forum, a website launched this month with funding from the National Institutes
of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Sponsored by NARSAD,
The Mental Health Research Association, the site bills itself as a “virtual community” where
researchers can link-up with colleagues and potential collaborators, learn about
new findings, meetings and funding opportunities, and critique each other’s articles
“We’re hoping that the Forum will become a catalyst for creative thinking that
will speed the pace of discovery,” said NIMH Director Thomas Insel, M.D.
The site (www.schizophreniaforum.org)
includes original news stories and interviews with leading scientists in the
field. Among specific forums that invite contributions from the field, “Current
Hypotheses” presents theory reviews, while an “Idea Lab” posts less formal treatments.
Most features of the site are interactive and solicit comment.
There will also be live chats with experts that will be archived for later viewing.
For example, NIMH senior advisor Mayada Akil, M.D., who represents the Institute
to the Forum, is tentatively scheduled to co-lead a discussion with Dr. Irving
Gottesman, University of Virginia, on “Identifying Quantifiable Phenotypes in
Citations of current schizophrenia-related papers, with links to PubMed abstracts
are posted each week — the newest in a searchable database going back to
2000. Among research tools, the site offers an extensive annotated index of relevant
web sites with information, downloadable software, databases, and other web-based
technologies for scientists. Future plans include a searchable database called
Registered researchers are listed in a member directory with links to their
profiles, containing affiliations, contact information and research interests.
Other resources include jobs listings and links to journals and departments and
institutes involved in schizophrenia research worldwide.
Members of the Forum’s Scientific Advisory Board are William T. Carpenter, Jr.,
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Joseph T. Coyle, McLean Hospital,
Anthony A. Grace, University of Pittsburgh,. Stephan Heckers, McLean Hospital,
James L. Kennedy, University of Toronto, June Kinoshita, Alzheimer Research Forum,
David A. Lewis, University of Pittsburgh, Carol A. Tamminga, University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and Daniel R. Weinberger, National Institute
of Mental Health.
NIMH is providing $700,000 in initial funding for the Schizophrenia Research
Forum for 2005-2007. The site’s executive editor Hakon Heimer is assisted by
a team of science communicators and web designers who helped develop a similar
website for Alzheimer’s disease, after which it is modeled.
NIMH will be co-hosting an event during the Society for Neuroscience annual
meeting Washington, D.C. in late November that will acquaint neuroscientists
with the Schizophrenia Research Forum and its offerings.
NIMH and is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Federal Government's
primary agency for biomedical and behavioral research. NIH is a component of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research
Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical
research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common
and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.