Compound doubles up on cancer detection

Tagging a pair of markers found almost exclusively on a common brain cancer yields a cancer signal that is both more obvious and more specific to cancer, according to a study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (P…

Model brain tissues could replace animal tests

UW–Madison stem cell scientists and biomedical engineers can grow three-dimensional models of brain tissue that could replace animals in screening studies that test the toxicity of chemicals such as new drugs, according to a study published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers were able to coax stem cells into differentiating into several different types of brain cells and begin to organize themselves into a structure that resembles a developing human brain. Employing rats and mice in toxicity screening tests protects humans from unknown dangers that may be caused by new drugs and chemicals used in commerce, but tissue grown from stem cells could make broader, faster testing work without employing animals. Read more from the Morgridge Institute for Research: Stem cells help predict neural toxicity … and at Scientific American: “Brain in a Dish” Could Replace Toxic Animal Tests

News coverage of inherited anxiety study

Earlier this month, a new study from the Department of Psychiatry and the HealthEmotions Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison of an extended family of monkeys provides important insights into how the risk of developing anxiety and depression is passed from parents to children.

Letter of support from the American Psychiatric Association

“We are writing to voice support for Dr. Ned Kalin’s research. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is the world’s largest psychiatric association and represents more than 36,000 psychiatrists who work to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders. An important part of our mission is to promote psychiatric research aimed at reducing the suffering of patients who are disabled from psychiatric disorders. “Research in animal models is essential to deepening our understanding of the human brain, how it works, and how alterations in brain function result in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, PTSD, schizophrenia, and autism. Dr. Kalin and his colleagues have made significant contributions to our understanding of the brain mechanisms that lead to anxiety and depressive disorders. His work is particularly relevant to children suffering from these disabling illnesses. Dr. Kalin’s earlier work with young rhesus monkeys has revealed the …

Letter of support from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

“We are writing in regard to the ongoing attacks by numerous entities, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and Ruth Dekker, MD, on the research program of Professor Ned Kalin. We are the senior leadership of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the nation’s premier professional society in brain, behavior, and psychopharmacology research. “The purpose of this letter is to convey the position of ACNP that research using nonhuman primate animal models is essential to deepening the understanding of human health, including psychiatric disorders, and must be protected as such. Psychiatric disorders are among the most common and disabling illnesses; twenty-five percent of the population, including children, suffer from psychiatric disorders and suicide is among the leading causes of death in adults and adolescents. It is ACNP’s mission to advance the understanding of the …