Butler Hospital receives 5-year $12M COBRE grant for neuropsychiatric brain research

BUTLER HOSPITAL was awarded a five-year, $12 million COBRE grant to build a self-sustaining center of excellence in clinical-translational brain research focused on enhancing research on and improving treatments for neuropsychiatric illnesses. / COURTESY BUTLER HOSPITAL
BUTLER HOSPITAL was awarded a five-year, $12 million COBRE grant to build a self-sustaining center of excellence in clinical-translational brain research focused on enhancing research on and improving treatments for neuropsychiatric illnesses. / COURTESY BUTLER HOSPITAL

PROVIDENCE – Butler Hospital has been granted a five-year, $12 million Center of Biomedical Research Excellence grant from the National Institutes of Health to focus on clinical-translational brain research, Care New England announced Tuesday.

The hospital said the grant will help it build a self-sustaining center of excellence in clinical-translational brain research, called the COBRE Center for Neuromodulation.

The center will initially focus on neuropsychiatric illnesses including impulsivity, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other illnesses, by seeking to understand and test methods to change the functioning of the brain circuits underlying related illnesses.

The center will be affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. It will be co-directed by Dr. Linda Carpenter. The hospital said that Carpenter is a national leader in brain stimulation therapies and research at Butler Hospital.

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“This grant establishes Butler Hospital and the COBRE Center for Neuromodulation as a national leader in this field of translational medicine, expanding both research and clinical application of non-invasive brain stimulation across disorders of brain and behavior,” said Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, principal investigator on the grant, in prepared remarks. “It will unify an interdisciplinary community in clinical-translational research on neuropsychiatric illnesses such as impulsivity, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, all focused on ultimately helping patients by developing new treatments.”

Part of the study will be used to further the careers of early-career researchers toward the next level of research independence by providing administrative support, a pilot grant program, mentors and new research infrastructure. The first group of project leaders will focus on impulsive behavior, PTSD and OCD.

The methods to be tested are noninvasive, including stimulation and neuroimaging methods.

“This new NIH COBRE grant will advance understanding of neuropsychiatric conditions … and lead to research breakthroughs in mental and behavioral health,” stated U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. “This federal funding will also help boost the state’s growing biomedical research and innovation capacity … and support numerous jobs in the biomedical research industry.”