NEW YORK, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- A January blog posting by Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), captured one of the core challenges of funding across the research spectrum. His analysis discussed a divergence among members of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), a group tasked with reviewing grants under consideration for funding by the NIMH.
"Some members of Council bear witness to the poor quality of care, the unmet medical need, and the diminishing investments by states on behalf of people with mental disorders," Insel writes. "The opposing argument runs something like this: There has been no major innovation in therapeutics for most mental disorders since 1960. Current treatments are not good enough for too many. Rather than investing scarce dollars for incremental improvements or increased dissemination of mediocre interventions, we need invest in the fundamental science of brain and behavior so that we can understand how to develop better treatments."
As this tension no doubt played out across multiple scientific disciplines, relationships between the scientific community and individual benefactors like New York financier Roys Poyiadjis may become more crucial to investigative progress.
In the applied arena, large institutions like NYU are adroit at turning research grants from the federal government into patentable inventions. In the past several decades, more than 100 startups have been built on NYU discoveries and innovations. In fact, in 2010, NYU created the Innovation Venture Fund, a seed-stage venture capital fund designed to incubate technologies and intellectual property at the largest private university in the United S