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Jaswa Innovator Award

“My goal is to help young scientists and engineers who have dedicated themselves to bold, high-risk research with ‘change the world’ potential…who have proven themselves to be crazy enough to keep risking everything to pursue their dream.”

— Sujay Jaswa

Psychiatric and neuroscience research represent one of the most urgent and high-impact ventures in society today. Every one of us, no matter our circumstances, is touched in some way by the personal and societal impact of mental illness and brain-based disorders. And we all share a desire to achieve personal wellness and advance human potential to love, create, learn, and achieve. The brain—our most complex organ—holds the keys.

In the Fall of 2019, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences announced requests for proposals for the inaugural Jaswa Innovator Award in response to the need for new paradigms to advance our understanding of the brain and develop better, more strategic treatment solutions to advance human potential. The Jaswa Innovator Award is designed for early stage investigators who are interested in high-risk, fast-fail projects developing new technologies and platforms that may lead to better understanding, diagnosis and/or treatment of mental health disorders. Projects grounded in highly-innovative computer science, artificial intelligence, and/or robust computational models were encouraged.   

2019 Award Recipient

Project Title: Bringing to light the dark genetic ‘jumping’ elements that are variable between individual human genomes and strongly implicated in psychiatric and other major disorders

Principal Investigator: Alexander Urban, Ph.D.