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Wine, music and schizophrenia genes

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. A California wine country music festival will aid a Rutgers scientist's research into schizophrenia, its causes and cures. Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disease that affects more than 2 million Americans and as many as 51 million people worldwide.

Dr. Linda Brzustowicz, an associate professor of genetics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, a board certified psychiatrist and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), was selected from more than 35 highly qualified applications for the inaugural Staglin Family Music Festival NARSAD Schizophrenia Research Award.

The Staglin Family, through the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the world's largest nongovernmental funding source for mental health research, established the $250,000 award to be made each year to a "rising star" scientist. It will be supported by funds raised by the Music Festival for Mental Health, an annual event at the Staglin Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley that offers music, fine wines and gourmet dining.

Founded in 1995 by Shari and Garen Staglin, the music festival has raised more than $25 million, with 100 percent funneled directly to research. "Our mission, through this festival, is to fund cutting-edge research to find the causes and cures for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses," Shari Staglin said. "We established this new award," added Garen Staglin, "to stimulate potential young scientists to enter the field of schizophrenia research." Despite the increased awareness brought about by the motion picture portrayal of Nobel Laureate John Nash's schizophrenia in "A Beautiful Mind," the conduct of research on this disease is still facing serious challenges in financial support.

"This award is particularly welcome because it comes at a time when federal funding in this area is shrinking, and we are not done u
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Contact: Joseph Blumberg
blumberg@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
24-Mar-2005


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