HDRF Depression Task Force Holds Second Annual Research Retreat, Thursday 14 June 2018

Six principal investigators of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation’s Depression Task Force met last month in Montreal, Canada for an intensive retreat with 28 of the young post-doctoral fellows working in their labs.

The groundbreaking retreat brought together six powerful neuroscience labs from Columbia University, McGill University, University of Michigan, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Rockefeller University.

It was the second annual retreat for this group of young scientists and their mentors who are working together on a joint research plan to find new and better treatments for depression.

“We are here together to exchange research information and deepen scientific connections,” said Dr. Huda Akil, Chair of the Depression Task Force and Professor of Neuroscience at U Michigan.

The retreat kicked off with a group dinner on Thursday night, followed by a full day of scientific presentations on Friday.  The young scientists shared data from ongoing studies that point to promising new targets in the brain for treating depression.

“These discussions are what the Task Force is all about,” said Dr. Michael Meaney, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at McGill in Montreal.  “These kids are so smart and their passion and breadth of expertise is incredible.”

Dr. Akil pointed out that the building of trust across labs is one of the great accomplishments of the HDRF Depression Task Force, a collaboration of top investigators formed in 2010 to pool expertise and data to accelerate research.

Dr. Akil continued:  “Young scientists are often told, ‘Don’t share your work – it’s a competitive world out there,’ but with the Task Force it’s okay, you are among family.”

All of the participants remarked on the historic bonding between labs from competing institutions.  “The gold is in these discussions,” said Dr. Meaney. “This is the next generation of science.”

To read more about the Depression Task Force and their latest progress, please click here

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