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UTSW Medical Center Receives $5M Gift to Create Depression Research Center

NEW YORK(GenomeWeb) – The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center today announced a $5 million gift from the Hersch Foundation to create the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care and to endow the Julie K. Hersch Chair in depression research and clinical care. 

The center will be established at the medical center with the goal of accelerating discoveries into the causes of and treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, and related conditions. It will combine translational clinical research in genetics, basic research, functional brain imaging, and treatment research across an entire range of ages, with a particular focus on treating resistant, chronic, or recurrent depression. 

Additionally, the center will take a comprehensive approach to researching biomarkers, treatment options, and delivery methods for detecting illness at an early and treatable stage; developing a more scientific approach to personalized treatment; and providing leading-edge care for treatment-resistant mood disorders. 

It also will investigate the impact of depression on the recovery of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. Madhukar Trivedi, a professor of psychiatry and chief of the division of mood disorders at UTSW, will lead the center. 

UTSW Medical Center said that the vision for the center is to replace the current trial-and-error basis to treating depression and other mood disorders with a personalized medicine approach. Trivedi noted a need for the development of brain-, blood-, and behavior-based diagnostic tests for the early detection of such disorders, and in initial work, clinical data from 2,000 individuals receiving treatment will be collected to identify biosignatures that can be used to predict outcomes. 

Trivedi will also conduct a project following teens and young adults through high school in order to identify mood-management issues, UTSW Medical Center said.

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