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Baszucki Brain Research Fund and Milken Institute Announce Grant Recipients for Bipolar Disorder Therapeutic Research

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Baszucki Brain Research Fund and Milken Institute Announce Grant Recipients for Bipolar Disorder Therapeutic Research

Washington, D.C.January 13, 2022 – The Baszucki Brain Research Fund and the Milken Institute’s Center for Strategic Philanthropy are pleased to announce that 45 scientists worldwide will receive funding to advance research for bipolar disorder.

Today, the Baszucki family announced $9 million in grants to support bipolar disorder focused research. Across 31 distinct organizations, 45 research grants will provide up to $200,000 per award to support pilot research in therapeutic discovery and translational efforts. The announcement today builds on the family’s prior investments in bipolar science, totaling more than $4 million. The new grants are intended to further ignite the field by addressing the historical underfunding of bipolar research highlighted by prior Milken Institute investigations. 

The founder and CEO of Roblox, David Baszucki, and his wife, author Jan Ellison, established the Baszucki Brain Research Fund in 2019 to invest philanthropically in breakthrough science for mental health conditions. Ellison shared: “Our own family’s experience underscores the enormous challenges—but also the tremendous potential for recovery—for those living with bipolar disorder. Our commitment with these initial grants is to partner with Milken and our brilliant awardees to advance innovative bipolar treatments that will bring new hope to families like ours.” 

Bipolar disorder affects roughly 3% of the population or nearly 45 million people worldwide. It is a serious mental health disorder with dramatic and sometimes unpredictable shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels that can lead to the loss of employment, strained relationships and even suicide. Yet while it is a serious and often disabling mental health disorder, both the Baszucki family and the Milken Institute recognize that with the right treatments, recovery is possible.  

“In our work with the Baszucki family and the larger bipolar community over the last two years, we have been struck by the scarcity of funding but also by the tremendous commitment of scientists, clinicians, families and patients to transforming the treatment of this serious mental health condition,” said Cara Altimus, senior director, Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy.

“We are optimistic that the high quality of the research projects being funded, spanning neuromodulation, neurometabolism, genomics and new therapeutics, will expand the toolbox of treatments for those living with bipolar disorder.”  

The Baszucki Brain Research Fund awardees include teams from: 

  • Baylor College of Medicine

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Inc

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc.

  • Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Treatment Innovation, Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Deakin University

  • Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica (FCRB)

  • Harvard College

  • Harvard Medical School

  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • Johns Hopkins University

  • Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation

  • Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Mayo Clinic

  • McMaster University

  • Medical University of South Carolina

  • Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

  • President and Fellows of Harvard College

  • Stanford University

  • Technische Universität Dresden

  • University Health Network

  • University of California San Diego

  • University of East London

  • University of Iowa

  • University of Maryland Baltimore

  • University of Michigan

  • University of Mississippi Medical Center

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Pittsburgh

  • University of Southern California

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • University of Toronto

  • Yale School of Medicine

To learn more about bipolar disorder, the Baszucki family’s grants, and to see more details about the awardees, visit: https://milkeninstitute.org/programs/advancing-medical-solutions/bipolar-research.

Media Contact: 

Mala Persaud, [email protected] 
Angela Landers, [email protected]

About the Baszucki Brain Research Fund

The Baszucki Brain Research Fund, part of the Baszucki Group, invests in innovative science and technologies to advance the prevention and treatment of bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions. We aim to fight stigma by catalyzing research, with a focus on neuro-metabolism, neuromodulation, and computational psychiatry. We support scientists and innovators pursuing breakthrough approaches to promoting vitality, stability and recovery in those at risk for or living with mental health conditions. 

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that helps people build meaningful lives in which they can experience health and well-being, pursue effective education and gainful employment, and access the resources required to create ever-expanding opportunities for themselves and their broader communities. For more information, visit https://milkeninstitute.org/