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Quinnipiac University psychology professor Adrienne Betz of New Haven receives $60,000 Young Investigator Grant

Adrienne Betz
Adrienne Betz

Adrienne Betz, of New Haven, assistant professor of psychology and director of behavioral science at Quinnipiac University, has received the 2013 Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

“I am honored to have been selected and look forward to contributing research aimed at discovering better treatments for mood disorders through scientific discovery in my lab,” she said. “They only fund scientists whose research is reviewed and recommended by a world-renowned scientific council including Nobel Prize winners and chairs of psychiatric departments.”

The $60,000 award will enable Betz to continue her research into Major Depressive Disorders (MDD) by examining the molecular mechanisms of stress on the hippocampus, a major part of the brain. Her research will investigate several areas of undeveloped inquiry, thereby helping to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of MDD.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.

“These experiments, funded by the Young Investigator award, will provide important information about potential mechanisms underlying persistent effects of chronic stress exposure in brain regions relevant to MDD,” said Betz, who also expressed gratitude to Mark Yeckel, professor of medical sciences at Quinnipiac’s Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, for serving as her scientific mentor on the grant.

Betz earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology/neuroscience from the University of Connecticut. She served as a fellow, associate and affiliate in molecular psychiatry at Yale University. She taught psychology at UConn and Southern Connecticut State University before joining Quinnipiac in 2009.

“Being at Quinnipiac University has afforded me the unique opportunity to mentor students while engaging in serious scientific research,” Betz said. “This grant will help me establish a fully sustainable and fundable laboratory and will have a profound impact on my work at Quinnipiac by allowing me to continue high-caliber research, and will be a catalyst in helping me achieve my goals.”   

Quinnipiac is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian institution located 90 minutes north of New York City and two hours from Boston. The university enrolls 6,400 full-time undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students in 58 undergraduate and more than 20 graduate programs of study in its School of Business and Engineering, School of Communications, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, School of Law, Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, School of Nursing and College of Arts and Sciences. Quinnipiac consistently ranks among the top regional universities in the North in U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges issue. The 2013 issue of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges named Quinnipiac as the top up-and-coming school with master’s programs in the Northern Region. Quinnipiac also is recognized in Princeton Review’s “The Best 377 Colleges.” The Chronicle of Higher Education has named Quinnipiac among the “Great Colleges to Work For.” For more information, please visit www.quinnipiac.edu. Connect with Quinnipiac on Facebook at www.facebook.com/quinnipiacuniversity and follow Quinnipiac on Twitter @QuinnipiacU.

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