The Baltimore Sun reports that the Lieber Institute of Brain Development has joined forces with a local African American clergy group called the African-American Clergy Medical Research Initiative to establish the nation’s first research outfit aimed at closing long-standing racial disparities in research and in treatment. They will advocate for equitable funding and representation in research.
Who is the Lieber Institute of Brin Development?
The Lieber Institute was started in 2010 by Steve and Connie Lieber along with Milton and Tamar Maltz—both families have children with schizophrenia. Psychiatrist Daniel R. Weinberger is the CEO. Having gathered over 2,000 brains for research purposes, the institute has the largest collection of post-mortem brains diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. These brains are used to study the biological basis for mental illnesses. In one study of post-mortem brains, LIBD researchers found that patients with schizophrenia had high levels of DNA methylation in brain regions associated with risk for schizophrenia. They are also developing a drug to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder.
A recent paper by Lieber scientists found that altering brain proteins caused the cells of autistic brains to behave normally. The specific type of autism is called Pitt–Hopkins syndrome and researchers are now looking into possible treatments that could be used for the condition and for other types of autism.