Lewis wins a 1907 Trailblazer Award for Research on Sleep and Depression
The new award supports groundbreaking early career research in tackling psychiatric disease and mental illness through neuroscience.
Assistant Professor Laura Lewis (BME) was selected for an inaugural 1907 Research award, for her proposal “Linking sleep, cerebrospinal fluid flow, and inflammation, in depression”. She is one of only three winners worldwide. The award from mental health research funder 1907 Research supports groundbreaking early career research in tackling psychiatric disease and mental illness through neuroscience.
Dr. Lewis is an expert on the impact of sleep on mental health disorders. The award will enable her lab to pursue a very novel idea for how neuroinflammation is regulated by sleep. Cerebrospinal fluid is a liquid that envelops the brain and is essential for maintaining brain health, as it can wash away inflammatory substances. Dr. Lewis has developed a new imaging technique to measure cerebrospinal fluid flow in humans and will study it in patients with depression through brain MRIs in their sleep. “The support of 1907 Research is transformative for being able to launch this unconventional project. As an early-career neuroscientist, the award will make a critical difference in our efforts to develop this new research area, which I hope will benefit our understanding and treatment of mental health disorders.”
“Since its public launch in 2019, 1907 Research has been committed to supporting extraordinary young scientists”, affirmed Dr. Guoping Feng, Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the 1907 Research Advisory Board. “These innovative research projects could potentially lead to the breakthrough discoveries we desperately need to solve mental health problems and are unlikely to be funded through traditional channels.“
“1907 Research is committed to accelerating breakthroughs in mental health research by supporting ideas based on first principles thinking, rather than dogma,” explains Dr. Vanessa Tolosa, a neurotechnologist and member of the 1907 Research team that reviewed proposals. “The unique process used for the Trailblazer Awards is designed to cut through discriminating factors that have no basis for scientific success such as gender, race, or pedigree. This allows for truly novel and sound ideas from the thinkers of tomorrow to be given a chance at discovery today.”