Institute for Research In Psychiatry and Neurosciences

The Institute for Research in Psychiatry and Neurosciences was established in 1990 with endowments from the Friends of Research in Psychiatry and state funding to further the understanding and treatment of psychiatric diseases.

The overall mission of the IRPN is to promote research and education in neurosciences by fostering established collaborations between outstanding neuroscientists committed to research and teaching and developing new collaborations with others across the College of Medicine, Health Sciences Center, and USF. Within this overall broad mission, IRP'S goals are:
  • The provision of education and training opportunities for future neuroscientists at graduate and post-graduate levels for both basic scientists and medical students.
  • Coalescing the exiting strengths in both clinical and basic neurosciences programs and thus enhances the ability to bring the results of bench research to clinical application.
  • Enhancing the ability of IRPN and its component Divisions as well as the departments of neurology, neurosurgery, and the Center for Aging and Brain Repair (CABR) and other USF neurosciences components to carry out cutting edge research by providing excellent research space and state of the art core clinical and laboratory facilities that make such research possible.

The IRPN is under the direction of Francisco Fernandez, M.D., Professor and Chairperson, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences.

The IRPN leadership is aware that the neurosciences and clinical psychiatry have valuable roles in both treating and preventing neurobehavioral disorders. Behavioral expertise is crucial for designing psychosocial and culturally sensitive programs aimed at changing behaviors, promoting compliance with medically complex regimens and treatment protocols, and creating a sense of comfort and belonging in the continuum of scientific endeavors. Psychiatric expertise is essential for understanding and treating Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD, Eating Disorders, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and HIV-related dementias, psychosis, depression, and anxiety, as well as for understanding the intricate network of gene interactions in an organism and the biological complexity of the brain. The two kinds of work are integral to the development of a comprehensive brain sciences program but they also have a very intimate relationship comparable in many ways to the manner in which gene action is a necessary prerequisite to brain function and behavior.

Our approaches are complementary and thus, rather than focusing on a single aspect of a disease entity or a particular pathology, we have chosen a broad and multifaceted approach to the understanding of human behavior, cognition, and emotional functioning.

Our goal is to bring together clinicians and scientists to grapple in a systematic way with the complex problems posed by developmental, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders to advance the understanding of neurobehavioral diseases and the therapeutic prospects from our work. We are ideally suited as behavioral neuroscientists to facilitate the intricate science involved as well as to identify the life circumstances surrounding these disorders that will promote quality of life and maintenance of hope among these individuals and their families.

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