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CONTACT: TOM MOORE
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Release: Nov. 4, 1999

Andreasen receives $2.7 million NIH award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa Health Care researcher has received a $2.7 million research award to fund her ongoing studies of the structural abnormalities in the brains of people diagnosed with major psychiatric illnesses.

Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of psychiatry, received the Health ROI Award from the National Institutes of Health. The project is titled, "Brain Imaging in the Major Psychoses: Structural Imaging Studies." Funding for the project for the period from 1989 to 2004 now totals $7 million.

The new funding will continue Andreasen’s study of the fundamental cognitive deficit that is characteristic of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The research effort also examines the underlying dysfunction of the neural circuits that provide interconnections and ongoing feedback between the prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, linked through the thalamus.

Andreasen’s research projects in neuroimaging utilize technology that includes structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, functional MR imaging and positron emission tomography (PET). She leads a team that is working on three-dimensional image analysis techniques to integrate multi-modality imaging and to develop innovative methods for analyzing structural and functional imaging techniques in an automated manner.

Andreasen is the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at the UI College of Medicine. She is also editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry. In addition, Andreasen has served as chair of the International Advisory Board for the Nobel Symposium on Schizophrenia.

Previous honors for Andreasen include: the Research Scientist Award; the American Psychiatric Association Prize for Research; the Dean Award from the American College of Psychiatrists; the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Psychiatrists; the Robert Sommer Award; the Award for Faculty Excellence from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; and, most recently, the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.