This video looks at the cost of bipolar disorder and reveals some of the exciting research initiatives underway at the University of Michigan’s Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund. In 2001, when she began her fight to find a cure for bipolar disorder, Waltraud "Wally" Prechter did it to honor her husband Heinz and to save her daughter. After more than ten years of fighting, and having started the fund that supports the world's most ambitious research into bipolar disorder, Wally's enormous contribution has brought us to a place where we are finally beginning to see important progress.
The Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund supports research within the University of Michigan's Depression Center. The Depression Center, the nation's first comprehensive center devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of depression, bipolar disorder and other related illnesses, is dedicated to providing national leadership in the areas of depression research, clinical care of patients with depression-related disorders, and in the training of the next generation of physicians and medical scientists who wish to devote their careers to learning more about the causes of depression-related disorders and the best ways to treat them. These initiatives have great life-changing potential for the many millions of people around the world -- and their families and friends -- whose lives are compromised by the terrible effects of depression, bipolar disorder and related illnesses.
The University of Michigan is building strong, national leadership in bipolar disorder under the guidance of John Greden, M.D., Executive Director of the Depression Center. The University of Michigan today is one of the top academic research institutions in America with an exceptional culture of collaboration that is attracting many of the nation's top medical scientists to Michigan and to research in the brain-related sciences. Melvin G. McInnis, M.D., the Principal Investigator of the Prechter Research Projects, and a leading scholar in bipolar genetics, was recruited to the University by Dr. Greden after serving 15 years on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University. His initial study of bipolar families became one of the first modern genetic linkage studies in bipolar disorder.
The Prechter Fund is currently supporting major research projects. Based at the U-M Depression Center, these projects incorporate collaborations with researchers at Weill Cornell, Stanford, Johns Hopkins and Penn State Universities. Data from our Genetics Repository will one day be made available to scientists around the world. For more information, please see our pages on the Prechter Projects.