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Science Updates

Advancing the Science of the Developing Brain

Quarterly updates focusing on sharing information about the incredible research being conducted at the Child Mind Institute.

August 24, 2023

It’s been a very exciting summer here at the Child Mind Institute! Our department is growing by leaps and bounds, and a number of teams are scaling up for initiatives that will impact the global mental health community. Teams have been busy implementing programs, conducting research, developing tools and publishing papers that aim to improve the lives of children worldwide. Just a few of those are highlighted in this issue of the Science Update.

In the last few months, we’ve seen the launch of the Youth Mental Health Academy, hosted a meeting of the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and made an outstanding showing at the annual Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) conference. We’ve also begun planning for this fall’s On the Shoulder’s of Giants Scientific Symposium, where the winner of our 2023 Sara Gund Prize for Research and Mentorship in Child Mental Health will be the featured speaker. You’ll find details of these events and links to free Child Mind Institute resources below. Please enjoy!

Michael Milham, MD, PhD
Vice President of Research
Join Us: Disease Prevention and Disruptive Technology in Marginalized Communities

Join Us: Disease Prevention and Disruptive Technology in Marginalized Communities

It’s time for our annual celebration of scientific achievement in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology, and developmental neuroscience! We invite you to join us October 12 at the 2023 On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium, where we will honor Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, PhD, the winner of our Sarah Gund Prize for Research and Mentorship in Child Mental Health. Throughout her career, Dr. Rotheram has made many high-impact contributions to prevention and behavior modification science, more recently demonstrating leadership around the use of disruptive technologies to address health disparities.

At this virtual event, you will hear Dr. Rotheram speak about her work and also hear from two of her proteges – UCSF’s Dr. Marguerita Lightfoot and UCSD’s Dr. Chadwick Campbell. The 2023 Rising Scientist winners also will be recognized at the event.

Get Event Details and Register
Youth Mental Health Academy Pilot Program an Overwhelming Success!

Youth Mental Health Academy Pilot Program an Overwhelming Success!

The YMHA pilot program of 160 high school students, in partnership with the state of California, launched in Los Angeles on June 20. For five weeks, the students participated in an intensive learning experience and developed innovative projects. On Saturday, July 22, we hosted the inaugural capstone event in LA, where each group presented their work. Nearly 400 students, family members, mentors, and program staff attended to celebrate this first cohort’s accomplishments!

The academy gives students from traditionally underserved communities, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ teens, an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience in mental health science, practice, or communications by working with professionals from organizations doing work in those areas. By providing mentorship and training to high school students in underserved communities, this program aims to inspire and cultivate tomorrow’s mental health leaders. The program is even garnering some press attention of late.

Find Out Why it's Getting Attention
Child Mind Institute Well Represented at 2023 OHBM Meeting

Child Mind Institute Well Represented at 2023 OHBM Meeting

In late July, the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) hosted their 2023 annual meeting in Montreal. The event serves as a pivotal platform for researchers, experts, and enthusiasts to come together and share discoveries and advancements in the field of brain mapping.

The event was nothing short of amazing for the Child Mind Institute. More than twenty Child Mind Institute research team members attended this year’s event. A number of research team members had two, or even three presentations! The Child Mind Institute also hosted a number of events, including a workshop on one of our open data sets.

Read About Our OBHM Accomplishments
Child Mind Institute Hosts Annual Meeting of Scientific Research Council (SRC)

Child Mind Institute Hosts Annual Meeting of Scientific Research Council (SRC)

In mid-July, the Child Mind Institute hosted the 2023 Scientific Research Council (SRC) Summer Retreat. The SRC is a group of leading experts from various fields relating to children’s mental health and learning disorders, co-chaired by Cathy Lord, PhD, and Kathleen Merikangas, PhD. The group is charged with advising the Child Mind Institute’s scientific initiatives. Each summer they come together for a few days to discuss current issues at the fore of children’s mental health and offer guidance to our science team.

The SRC retreat is always inspiring. This year, discussion focused on communicating scientific messages and effectively addressing the current youth mental health crisis. The Child Mind Institute’s scientific and engineering initiatives are scaling rapidly. At the same time, the Child Mind Institute’s work is increasingly global, and we are proud to bring together this impressive group every year for thoughtful and productive conversations.

See Who is on The SRC

Additional Items of Interest

Kids Books on Mental Health Topics

Find age-appropriate books for kids from preschool to middle school to help them understand mental health topics like anxiety, ADHD, autism, sadness, and managing big emotions, as well as learning disorders like dyslexia.

Getting Ready To Go Back to School

The end of summer transition can be tough for some families. If your child is anxious about the return to school, following some simple dos and don’ts can help.

Mental Health Resources For Medical Practices

Broaching the subject of mental health disorders with parents can be daunting. The Child Mind Institute offers brochures you can share with families to help them get informed.

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