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Letter from the Director
Welcome to InSPIRES, the Institute of Social and Psychiatric Initiatives - Research, Education and Services. InSPIRES is a groundbreaking cross-disciplinary initiative destined to have a major society-wide impact on the social and emotional disorders that limit the fundamental/critical ability to connect with others.
Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, personality disorder and aggressive behavior-- all compromise an individual’s crucial capacity to form healthy relationships. According to the World Health Organization, these disorders constitute the single greatest drain on our social services systems, from schools and hospitals to courts and prisons. And that doesn’t begin to account for the personal suffering caused by undiagnosed, misunderstood and untreated disease.
Despite the acknowledged cost to individuals and society, we know frighteningly little about how to prevent and treat mental illness. Recent strides in genetics and neuroscience have underscored nature’s contribution to human behavior and illness. Progress has also been made in understanding the pivotal role of nurture in mental health.
As a psychiatrist with a wealth of cross-disciplinary research experience, I have seen firsthand the profound effects of psychological and emotional stressors on maternal and fetal health and the importance of childhood nurture on later emotional resilience. My colleagues at InSPIRES have recently conducted studies that point to a new area of research--the possible role of environmental toxins.
Only by synthesizing advances from a wide spectrum of diverse scientific fields will we find effective treatments and cures for the conditions that debilitate so many lives at such a profound cost. InSPIRES is uniquely positioned to meet this challenge.
Under my leadership, the Institute makes use of three important avenues to achieve our goals:
• Research: conducting cross-disciplinary research and translating information from basic and social neuroscience, cognitive psychology, public health databases and population epidemiology studies into clinically useful information.
• Education: training a new generation of scientists, clinicians and policy makers to focus on prevention, early intervention and cure.
• Services: discovering, testing and providing innovative treatments, intervention strategies and service delivery paradigms aimed at restoring healthy, meaningful lives; and educating families across the country on preventive measures.
InSPIRES is the realization of the vision to which I have devoted my entire life. With twenty leading scientists specializing in over a dozen fields, I am confident that we offer the unprecedented promise of helping countless individuals lead more fully connected lives, and of ultimately improving the social fabric of our world.
Whether you are visiting our site to learn about our research programs, psychiatric training or clinical services, I welcome you and I urge you to join us in our quest.
Dr. Dolores Malaspina Founder and Director of InSPIRES