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10 Years of Science at the Child Mind Institute

The Child Mind Institute’s science program was established in 2011 by a group of entrepreneurial scientists looking to accelerate the pace of discovery in children’s mental health. Since then, our science team has been defined by innovation, impact and a commitment to breaking down the research silos that delay progress.

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Open Science

Open science is embedded in everything we do. Our rich data, sophisticated analysis methods and new technologies are made freely available to support research breakthroughs anywhere and everywhere.

The International Neuroimaging Data-sharing Initiative (INDI), established by the Child Mind Institute’s Center for the Developing Brain in 2011, is a venue for investigators to openly share their brain imaging data to increase the scale of scientific studies while minimizing costs and duplicated effort. INDI has aggregated and shared nearly 20,000 brain imaging datasets from labs around the world, resulting in more than 1,500 research papers being published using INDI data.

Through the Healthy Brain Network study, our scientists are building and sharing the world’s largest database on the developing brain, with a view to accelerating biomarker discovery for child and adolescent mental health. The study is also improving our understanding of pressing public health issues, such as problematic internet use in young people and the mental health effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The Healthy Brain Network helps families gain insight into their child’s needs through free, comprehensive mental health and learning evaluations which cost thousands of dollars when obtained privately.

Harnessing Innovative Technologies for Mental Health

Through the Mind-Assisting Technologies for Therapy, Education and Research (MATTER) Lab, we are developing innovative technologies such as mobile apps and wearable devices to revolutionize clinical care by extending the diagnosis and treatment process beyond clinical settings.

MindLogger is an open-source app developed by the MATTER Lab that allows clinicians to remotely monitor patients and provide interventions; enables scientists to tailor apps for study participants; and helps individuals track their mental health, all without programming experience. This year, in partnership with referral management platform MiResource, MATTER Lab researchers received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) small business grant to use MindLogger to connect college students to quality, personalized mental health care. With support from the Hearst Foundations, MATTER Lab researchers are integrating a digital mental health screening tool into MindLogger to help pediatricians screen children and adolescents for mental health disorders.

Fostering Talent and Community Building

The Child Mind Institute science program has supported the development of some of the most promising young scientists in the United States, including two winners of the prestigious Brain and Behavior Research Foundation’s NARSAD Young Investigator Award, five winners of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Award and four first-time recipients of NIH research funding. Dr. Mike Milham, Vice President of Research and Phyllis Green and Randolph Cōwen Scholar, and Dr. Adriana Di Martino, Research Director of the Autism Center and Dr. John and Consuela Phelan Scholar, are recipients of the Highly Cited Researcher Award, which puts them in the top 0.1% of all scientists based on citations and makes them outstanding mentors for emerging scientists. Through the Rising Scientist Awards, which are presented in partnership with Hunter College at our annual On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium, we give scholarships to support college expenses for high school students who demonstrate exceptional promise in child and adolescent mental health research or pediatric neuroscience.

The Child Mind Institute has seeded and supported a range of events to promote collaboration in the neuroimaging community, including the Brain Art Competition and Open Science Gala events at the annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, which is attended by over 1,000 people from the global science community. In 2012 Child Mind Institute scientists launched the Brainhack movement, which brings researchers from different disciplines together multiple times a year to collaboratively advance brain science research.

Looking to the Future

The Child Mind Institute is building a world where every child has access to mental health care that is efficient, effective and driven by the best science available. Please consider a donation to support our research efforts in the next 10 years, as we continue to transform the culture of neuroscience and mental health research to the benefit of children and families everywhere.

Our Impact

Learn more about how the Child Mind Institute is making change for communities and for individuals struggling with mental health.