Nation’s Largest Suicide Prevention Organization Awards $4.65 Million in Research Grants

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Contact: Alexis O’Brien, PR Director, 347-826-3577, [email protected]

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Annual Research Grants Selected for Funding

NEW YORK (June 7, 2017) – AFSP is proud to announce the winners of the annual research grant application process. This year, 27 national and international grantees have been selected to receive grants totaling more than $4.65 million for their research studies aimed at understanding and preventing suicide.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, but it receives far less research funding from the National Institutes of Health than other top causes of death, like HIV/AIDS, heart disease and prostate cancer. To help prevent this leading cause of death from claiming more lives, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is committed to funding many research grants annually. Funds are provided to top proposals from researchers at all levels of experience to grow the field of researchers invested in suicide prevention. The organization’s research has resulted in a variety of assessment tools and interventions for preventing suicide.

“The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has been funding scientific research for the past 30 years. We believe research is critical to leading us to a better understanding of the contributors to suicide and the development of useful approaches to prevent suicide,” said Jill Harkavy-Friedman, AFSP vice president of research. “This year we received an impressive number of novel, high quality applications.”

Two of this year’s winners received nearly $1 million each: Dr. Charles Conway, for his study on “Adjunctive Nitrous Oxide For Acute Suicidal Ideation In Unipolar Depressed Hospitalized Patients;” and Dr. Alan Swann, for his study on “Behavioral Mechanisms, Prediction, And Treatment Of Short-Term Suicide Risk.” Our grants program and the 27 grants awarded this year address key suicide research areas: Neurobiological, Psychosocial, Genetic, Treatment, Surviving Suicide Loss and Community Approaches and Impact. The grant categories include short-term risk, linked standard research grants, distinguished investigator grants, standard research grants, young investigator grants, post-doctoral research fellowship, and a pilot research grant.

Each application was reviewed using a rigorous multi-step process with leading experts in the field. The research grants are funded mainly through individual donors who attend the AFSP Out of the Darkness walks and other public education events. Many of the AFSP grantees go on to receive further funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and other large funding agencies.

Principal Investigator
Grant Type
Mentor (if applicable)
Institution and LocationGrant TitleAmount
Charles Conway, MD
Professor of Psychiatry
STR
Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri United States
Adjunctive nitrous oxide for acute suicidal ideation in unipolar depressed hospitalized patients$999,241
Alan Swann, MD
Professor
STR
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas
United States
Behavioral mechanisms, prediction, and treatment of short-term suicide risk$975,000
Molly Adrian, PhD
Assistant Professor


Aaron Lyon, PhD
Assistant Professor
LSRG
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington
United States

University of Washington
Seattle, Washington
United States
Assessment of suicide and self-injury to enhance school safety$187,025
Enrique Baca-Garci¬a, MD, PhD
Chief of Special Services

Phillipe Courtet, MD, PhD
Chairman
LSRG
Fundacion Jimenez Diaz
Madrid, Spain

Université de Montpellier
Montpellier, France
Sleep and appetite as risk markers for suicidality in a cross-national cohort of suicidal patients$299,394
Constance Guille, MD
Assistant Professor

Srijan Sen, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
LSRG
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
United States
Mobile technology to reduce suicide risk in physicians$300,000
Herbert Meltzer, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Physiology
DIG
Northwestern University
Chicago, Illinois
United States
Development of transdiagnostic genetic markers to predict suicide attempt$125,000
Jane Pirkis, PhD
Director of the Centre for Mental Health
DIG
University of Melbourne
School of Population and Global Health
Melbourne, Australia
Suicide prevention public service announcements (PSAs): A randomized controlled trial$124,450
Ian Colman, PhD
Associate Professor
SRG
University of Ottawa
School of Epidemiology, Public Health & Preventive Medicine
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
The effect of parenting practices during childhood on adolescent suicidality$98,200
Brian D'Onofrio, PhD
Professor
SRG
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
United States
A genetically informed study of psychosocial risk factors for suicide attempt/self-harm$99,611
Tina Goldstein, PhD
Associate Professor
SRG
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
A prospective study of sleep health and suicidal behavior$99,354
Gin Malhi, MD
Professor, Head of Department
SRG
The University of Sydney
Royal North Shore Hospital
Sydney, Australia
The neurocircuitry of suicidal thinking in bipolar disorder: The anti-suicidal properties of lithium$95,250
Spiro Pantazatos, PhD
Research Scientist IV
SRG
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene
New York, New York
United States
Imaging informatics to identify neurobehavioral risk factors for suicidal ideation and behavior$100,000
James Rilling, PhD
Winship Distinguished Research Professor
SRG
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
The role of oxytocin signaling in depression and suicidality in returning war veterans$99,864
Ardesheer Talati, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobiology
SRG
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene
New York, New York
United States
Identifying biomarkers for suicide in offspring at high risk$97,761
Lynnette Averill, PhD
Clinical Research Psychologist / Associate Research Scientist
YIG

Mentor:
Gerard Sanacora, M.D., Ph.D.
Yale University
National Center for PTSD / Yale University
West Haven, Connecticut
United States
Brain connectivity networks and predictors of rapid improvement in suicidal ideation among veterans$85,000
Amanda Bakian, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
YIG

Mentor:
Hilary Coon, PhD
University of Utah
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
United States
Proximal environmental exposures for the chronic inflammation suicide subtype$83,795
Christine Cha, PhD
Assistant Professor
YIG

Mentor:
Anthony Spirito, PhD
Brown University
Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, New York
United States
Development of an innovative and practical suicide risk assessment battery for youth$82,432
Daniel W. Cox, PhD
Assistant Professor
YIG

Mentor:
E. David Klonsky, PhD
University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada
What reduces suicide ideation in online crisis chats? A study of crisis counselor & client processes$82,986
Federico Daray, MD, PhD
Assistant Research Scientist
YIG

Mentor:
M. Elizabeth Sublette, MD, PhD
Columbia University
University of Buenos Aires
Institute of Pharmacology, School of Medicine.
Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Polyunsaturated fatty acids as predictors of future suicide attempt$85,000
Jordan DeVylder, PhD
Associate Professor
YIG

Mentor:
Holly Wilcox, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Fordham University
Graduate School of Social Service
New York, NY
United States
Psychotic experiences as predictors of suicidal behavior in a pediatric emergency department$85,000
Sarah Fineberg, MD, PhD
Instructor
YIG

Mentor:
John Krystal, MD
Yale University
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
United States
Ketamine in Borderline Personality Disorder$84,995
Catherine Glenn, PhD
Assistant Professor
YIG

Mentor:
Yeates Conwell, MD
University of Rochester Medical Center
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York
United States
Sleep disturbance and short-term suicide risk in youth after psychiatric hospitalization$85,000
Renato Polimanti, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
YIG


Mentor:
Joel Gelernter, MD
Yale University School of Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine
West Haven, Connecticut
United States
Genome-wide investigation of suicide ideation and attempt in the context of substance dependence$85,000
Katrina Witt, PhD
Research Fellow
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Mentor:
Dan Lubman, PhD
Monash University (Australia)
Monash University
Turning Point
Eastern Health Clinical School
Fitzroy, Australia
Trajectories of methods used by frequent repeaters of non-fatal self-harm: Associations with suicide$104,000
James Bjork, PhD
Neuroscientist
PRG
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
Richmond, Virginia
United States
Deployment experiences: relationships with cognition in veterans$24,916
Rene Lento, PhD
Clinical Fellow
PRG
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Enhancing suicide prevention in the National Guard: Do current programs match unit needs?$29,295
Ana Ortin Peralta, PhD
Research Staff Associate
PRG
New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center
New York, New York
United States
A developmental psychopathology perspective on intergenerational transmission of suicide attempts$30,000

Grant Types:

  • STR: Short-Term Risk Focus Grant
  • LSRG: Linked Standard Research Grant
  • DIG: Distinguished Investigator Grant
  • SRG: Standard Research Grant