Northwestern University Mental Health, Earlier: Transdiagnostic, Transdisciplinary, Translational Training Program in Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms of Psychopathology

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

This T32 proposal will establish an innovative transdisciplinary postdoctoral training program focusing on transdiagnostic, neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology, with an expanded focus on developmental and environmental influences - program title: Northwestern University Mental Health, Earlier: Transdiagnostic, Transdisciplinary, Translational Training Program in Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms of Psychopathology (NU-MHE). Specifying malleable neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology at key developmental inflection points has proven elusive, suggesting that innovative methods and frameworks are necessary in order to advance intervention and prevention efforts. Approaches like NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative, frame mental disorders as neurodevelopmental phenomena which emerge during an unfolding sequence from vulnerability to clinical symptomatology. This has led to novel research heuristics and designs which move away from conventional, discrete disease-based models towards more multi-level, transdiagnostic, transdisciplinary, approaches. However, the field is lacking training paradigms that effectively capture this dynamic, multi-faceted nature. This T32 thus proposes a novel training paradigm that bridges research in neurodevelopmental mechanisms of mental disorder with adjacent domains of high translational significance. Fellows will develop expertise in neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology, taking into account developmental and environmental contexts. Additionally, fellows will acquire foundational knowledge in the following core competencies: (1) computational psychiatry and other data science applications to mental health, (2) intervention/prevention/implementation science, (3) intersection of mental health and pediatric physical conditions – as well as the following professional development competencies, (4) translational team science, (5) ethical and responsible conduct of clinical research (which includes attentiveness to diversity), (6) grantsmanship, supporting a K or R-level grant submission, and (7) leadership and other career development skills. To achieve these competencies, at least 85% of the fellows’ time will be spent in mentored independent research. All fellows will have two co-mentors: A co-mentor with expertise in neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology; and a co-mentor in one of the following areas: (a) prevention, intervention, or implementation, (b) computational psychiatry and data science, or (c) the intersection of mental and pediatric health. These research experiences will be complemented by seminars in neurodevelopmental mechanisms of psychopathology, data science/computational psychiatry, as well as experiential learning (e.g., research in the context of real world care). Fellows will also make use of the rich educational resources available at NU, including professional development training in grant writing, team science skills, mentoring others, rigor and reproducibility, and other resources dedicated to career development. NU-MHE is well-positioned to launch the next generation of neurodevelopmental clinical scientists and leaders poised to accelerate the pace of clinical translation.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/26

Funding

  • National Institute of Mental Health (1T32MH126368-01)

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