The Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute was set up in August 2010 to address one of the major societal challenges facing the world today – mental illness.
Since its inception, here at the Research Institute we have facilitated numerous research projects and networks through seedcorn and equipment funding and administrative support.
We aim to further the understanding and treatment of major psychiatric and neurological disorders, which represent some of the greatest challenges to society.
Global leaders in research
Mental illness and diseases of the brain are ignored and misunderstood. These remain major challenges for medical research.
Psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders are major causes of death and disability, and current treatments and care costs the UK around £77 billion every year. Despite the huge burden that this represents to society, modern medicine has yet to make any significant progress in prevention or cure.
Cardiff University's researchers are global leaders in their work investigating the genetic basis of mental disorders. The challenge, tackled by the Research Institute, is to use neuroscience to translate these genetic discoveries into major improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
Collaboration of expertise
To achieve this goal, the Research Institute has brought together over 100 senior Principle Investigators (PI's) and their teams with research expertise in psychiatry, neuroscience and psychology (from four main schools within the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences - Medicine, Biosciences, Psychology and Optometry and Vision Sciences) to apply recent advances to understanding the biological basis of mental illness.
Led by Professor Jeremy Hall and a Management Team, the Research Institute's vision is to build an outstanding environment for mental health research that attracts, supports and retains the best scientists and students in Cardiff.
The core methods of our outstanding interdisciplinary scientific research include:
- stem cell neurobiology
- molecular neurobiology
- systems neurobiology
- life course imaging.
These in turn support our three core contemporary research themes:
- neuroexcitation and neuroplasticity
- neurodegeneration and repair
Neuroexcitation and neuroplasticity
A range of techniques and studies are used to examine alterations in the balance of excitation and inhibition in brain circuits, and the processes that identify abnormalities in the pathways underlying plasticity in the brain. These are central to our understanding the development of epilepsy, autism ADHD and schizophrenia.
Neurodegeneration and repair
Our scientists are seeking new therapies through their cellular and clinical research by uncovering the basis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Huntington's and other related conditions.
Many of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders have their origins in early brain development. We examine how genetic and environmental factors acting on brain development, alter risk for mental illnesses such as autism, ADHD, schizophrenia and mood disorders.
The Neuroscience team
- Telephone:+44 (0)29 20688462