Thursday, 7 November 2013

Psychology Research Grants at the Hunter Medical Research Institute Awards

Juanita, Renate, Elise, Peter, Lauren and Frini represented Psychology at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Awards last night – a bit like the HMRI Oscars! A number of our Expressions of Interests had led to invitations to submit full applications of very high quality projects. Of these, the two projects below were funded:

HMRI Dalara Foundation Project Grants
Mapping Networks in the Brain
Renate Thienel, Frini Karayanidis, Juanita Todd, Peter Stanwell, Mark Parsons, Chris Levi

This project will use Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy lmaging (MRSI) technology to measure concentrations of neurotransmitters chemicals crucial for communication in the brain and evaluate the relationship between brain function and brain structure in normal and stroke patients to improve the early detection of the disease. This project has implications for translation to clinical samples such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, dyslexia, as well as cognitive remediation and brain stimulation approaches to functional recovery.

HMRI Male Depression Project Grant
Making use of Gaming Technologies to Help Young People Suffering from Depression and Binge Drinking.
Frances Kay-Lambkin, Peter Walla, Keith Nesbitt
Supported by: Lions Club of Toronto, Lioness Club of Toronto, The Estate of the Late Reginald Leslie Radford

Depression and binge drinking represent significant community problems, particularly for young people. Despite the high prevalence of these problems and the consequent need for treatment, rates of treatment access among young people remain the lowest of any age group. Internet-based treatments have the potential to meet this challenge. By combining startle reflex modulation with behavioural assessment, we will, for the first time, have a better understanding of the cognitive and affective response of young people to web-based psychological treatment for depression and binge drinking problems. The results of this study can facilitate the development of more engaging, and thus effective interventions for young people, and provide a useful methodological approach to evaluating these domains in future treatment studies

The quality of all the work was outstanding, and the non-winners did us proud as well. A list of all awards can be found here.