Do you read the New Yorker? If you do, you might have noticed an article about the top six most interesting psychology papers published in 2015. Two faculty investigators at HudsonAlpha are authors on a paper included in the list. The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) in August 2015, describes research from the University of Michigan Medical School and the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium.
Richard Myers, PhD, president and science director at HudsonAlpha and a site director for the Pritzker Consortium; and Devin Absher, PhD, faculty investigator; were part of the team of researchers who discovered that a protein important to embryonic development and cell differentiation appears to also play an important role in regulating emotions related to depression. The study revealed physical changes to depressed brains.
If the protein, known as fibroblast growth factor 9, proves to be a good target for drugs, the finding could lead to better treatments for depression. This is important because depression is complicated to treat. The New Yorker said the discovery “offers new hope in an otherwise difficult landscape.”