Our mission is to transform knowledge and outcomes of mental illness through brain and mind research. As a team from both finance and science, we invest in research projects which have the potential to unearth causes and cures for mental illness.
1907 Research was started because the current system of psychiatry has failed countless in our society. Despite ever improving living standards, suicides today are the #2 cause of death for those aged 10-34, and suicides per capita have consistently risen in the US over the last 20 years (CDC data here). Ask yourself: why?
The first problem is a lack of sympathy. There is a common misunderstanding that symptoms of mental illness are voluntary, that one can simply ‘think oneself better.’ Yet mental health conditions are not like this; they are not the ‘fault’ of the sufferer and are often the result of involuntary processes in the brain. These are medical problems.
The second problem is lack of knowledge. We do not understand the biological underpinnings of mental illness and the requisite basic science research is critically underfunded. The current approach to diagnosing and treating mental illness focuses on symptoms rather than on the mechanisms underlying these symptoms. The DSM-5 (here), the textbook manual for any psychiatrist, is like a dictionary for illnesses which observes patterns of behaviors but fails to address genetic, environmental or biological causes. There is a dramatic need for an enhanced understanding of the biological mechanisms in the brain and body that give rise to the distressing and debilitating symptoms of mental illness.
These problems are surmountable. What is needed is aggressive research funding focused on uncovering the detailed processes in the brain and the body that underpin the symptoms of mental illness. These discoveries largely happen in labs at universities and hospitals, which the for-profit sector is not positioned to address. Similar to cancer and heart disease, the solution has to be aided by the non-profit sector.
1907 Research takes an investment management approach to funding this needed science. We have a team of scientists with specialization in psychiatry, neurobiology, genetics, neuroimaging, neuroengineering and computational neuroscience. Each year, the Advisory Board, with assistance from dedicated Research Directors, will select a class of leading MDs and PhDs and allocate funding to carry out step-change research. Each recipient in the class will be provided the 1907 Innovator Award, with a value of $125,000, to unearth causes and cures.