Schizophrenia — New Hope for Effective Treatment Through Drug Development

By Marquette College of Health Sciences

“More than 25 percent of the single adult homeless population suffers from a severe, persistent mental illness — and it’s plain to see that something needs to be done to change the course of mental health treatment.”

Dear Friend:

Although more than 3 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia, it is still a disease shrouded in mystery and misinformation. Medications used to treat schizophrenia haven’t worked particularly well and haven’t changed significantly since their original development in the 1950s.

Add to this the link between mental health issues and poverty — more than 25 percent of the single adult homeless population suffers from a severe, persistent mental illness — and it’s plain to see that something needs to be done to change the course of mental health treatment.

Recent advances in schizophrenia treatment are the focus of the College of Health Sciences’ next Marquette Presents breakfast forum: Schizophrenia — New Hope for Effective Treatment Through Drug Development.

It is my pleasure to invite you to this free forum on Friday, May 31, from 7:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Our panel will include:

  • Dr. David Baker, professor and associate chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences in Marquette University’s College of Health Sciences and co-founder of Promentis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a startup company dedicated to discovering new treatments for neuropsychiatric diseases like schizophrenia

  • Dr. M. Behnam Ghasemzadeh, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in Marquette University’s College of Health Sciences and co-founder of AviMed Pharmaceuticals, a startup company focused on generating CNS pharmaceuticals through drug repurposing, with a focus on schizophrenia

  • Dr. Jerry Halverson, F.A.P.A., medical director of adult services at Rogers Memorial Hospital and a board-certified adult psychiatrist with a subspecialty in psychosomatic medicine

  • An individual coping with schizophrenia

Please join us for a discussion about new developments that could result in a profound impact on schizophrenia and other debilitating mental illnesses.

I look forward to seeing you on May 31!

Dr. William E. Cullinan
Professor and Dean, College of Health Sciences Director, Integrative Neuroscience Research Center

PRINCIPAL PANELISTS

Dr. David Baker is a professor and associate chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marquette University. Baker’s primary research interest is to understand the contribution of neurotransmitter release from astrocytes to brain function in the normal and diseased states, especially as it relates to addiction and schizophrenia.
A major emphasis of his program is to develop novel therapeutics for these and other disorders, which led him to co-found Promentis Pharmaceuticals, a startup pharmaceutical company developing novel CNS therapeutics. Baker recently received the Freedman Award from NARSAD for excellence in basic research and has received research funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, NARSAD and the state of Wisconsin.

Dr. William E. Cullinan, a professor in and dean of Marquette University’s College of Health Sciences, is director of the Integrative Neuroscience Research Center, Marquette’s largest research collaboration composed of more than 30 faculty members. His research program focuses on brain pathways responsible for regulating hormonal responses to stress and their relationship to mental health issues such as depression.
Cullinan’s research laboratory has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.

Dr. M. Behnam Ghasemzadeh is an associate professor in Marquette University’s Department of Biomedical Sciences. Research in Ghasemzadeh’s lab focuses on understanding the neurobiology of addiction and schizophrenia, pathologies that involve long-lasting changes in brain function and behavior with devastating personal and social consequences.
Ghasemzadeh is co-founder of AviMed Pharmaceuticals, a startup company focused on generating CNS pharmaceuticals through drug repurposing, with a focus on schizophrenia.

Dr. Jerry L. Halverson, F.A.P.A., is medical director of adult services at Rogers Memorial Hospital, a comprehensive psychiatric hospital that is nationally recognized for its specialty mental health treatment. Halverson, a board-certified adult psychiatrist with a subspecialty in psychosomatic medicine, is a recognized leader in the Wisconsin Medical Society and Wisconsin Psychiatric Association and has spoken extensively about mental health disorders and advocacy efforts to academic, legislative and community audiences.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on May 08, 2013

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