Chang-Gyu Hahn, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine is one of 42 innovative researchers awarded NARSAD 2010 Independent Investigator grants for mental illness research. Dr. Hahn seeks to determine the molecular and biochemical basis for the hypofunctioning of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is well documented in schizophrenic individuals. Dr. Hahn will identify which proteins in the NMDA receptor complex are linked to the hypofunctioning of the NMDA in patients with schizophrenia by analyzing post-mortem tissue samples. Data from these studies will suggest possible targets for novel therapeutics.

Independent Investigators seek to produce experimental results that will put them in a position to initiate major research programs and request major governmental grants. Receiving up to $100,000 over two years, they lead research programs of clinical and basic science investigations into the causes, mechanisms and treatments for serious psychiatric disorders. This year’s Independent Investigators come from 10 leading institutions in nine countries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, Israel and Spain, and 21 leading institutions in the United States. Their research topics include schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, such as OCD and PTSD, and childhood disorders, such as autism and ADHD.

The 116-member NARSAD Scientific Council, a prestigious group representing the best and brightest minds in psychiatric research, guided the review and selection process for this year’s Independent Investigators. Forty two grantees were selected from a pool of 217 proposals.

For more information, see the NARSAD press release:


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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