MQ Mental Health Research is today announcing an investment of £2.2 million into seven new research projects, through the prestigious MQ Fellowships programme.
These new MQ Fellows will be conducting research into how serious mental illnesses and physical illnesses can combine to cause premature death. Vital research that will help to save lives in the future, and that would not be possible without donations from the public.
People with serious mental illnesses and mental distress pass away, on average, 10-20 years earlier than the general population. This is due to the tragedy of suicide as well as a disproportionately high rate of physical health problems with low detection. For this reason MQ has founded the Gone Too Soon programme. A series of projects and research investments which aims to tackle the tragedy of early mortality amongst people with mental illness.
The 2023 MQ Fellowships, which are a part of the Gone Too Soon programme, are widely regarded as one of the most prestigious Fellowships for early career researchers within mental health science. This three-year programme provides up to £300,000 over three years, to support the running of laboratories, access to data sets and other vital research costs that would otherwise not be possible.
Previous recipients of an MQ Fellowship include Dr Ethel Mpungu, who went on to be named as one of the BBC’s 100 most influential women in the world for her work treating patients with depression and HIV in Uganda, and Dr Joshua Roffman, whose study into the use of folic acid to prevent psychosis has helped to change food fortification policies around the world.
The 2023 Fellows went through a rigorous interview and vetting process, including having their applications reviewed by a diverse panel of global experts, including people with lived experience of mental illness.
The 2023 MQ Fellows are:
Dr Suhas Ganesh from the Central Institute of Psychiatry Ranchi, in Kanke, India.
Suhas will examine genetic and environmental predictors of treatment-emergent metabolic abnormalities in schizophrenia. You can read more about Suhas’ work here.
Dr Gareth Griffith from the University of Bristol.
Gareth will be working to improve study designs and participation in research of volunteers, to better understand why people die by suicide. His research is being co-funded by Garfield Weston.
Dr Moritz Herle, from King’s College London.
Moritz will be aiming to understand why people with eating disorders are at greater risk of suicide. Read more about Moritz’s work here.
Dr Leslie Carol Munoz Johnson from Emory University in Georgia, USA.
Leslie will be adapting and testing an integrated care model for treatment of Type 1 diabetes and mental health co-morbidities. Her research is being co-funded by the charity JDRF. You can read more about Leslie’s work here.
Dr Marisa Ellen Marraccini from the University of North Carolina, USA.
Marisa will be building and testing a tailored virtual reality supplement to cognitive behavioural therapy to be provided during hospitalization after a suicide attempt. Her research is being co-funded by AFSP. You can read more about Marisa’s work here.
Dr Massimilano Orri from McGill University, Canada.
Massimilano will investigate the premature mortality by suicide and other causes of children with comorbid physical and mental disorders. You can read more about Massimilano’s work here.
Dr Amy Ronaldson, also from Kings College London.
Amy will seek to understand why the risk of death from infectious disease is higher in those with severe mental illness than in those without. You can read more about Amy’s work here.
This new investment in research was only made possible by the generosity of MQ’s supporters, and through partnerships with a number of other leading charities including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Garfield Weston, the Rosetrees Trust, Stoneygate Trust and JDRF.
“We are so proud to be able to support such vital research and these promising early career researchers through our Gone Too Soon Fellowship programme, It is thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters that this has been made possible. We are especially proud that we are working in conjunction with a number of other organisations, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and JDRF to co-fund some of these Fellows. By bringing together funding partners, researchers and other experts we are already breaking new ground in our approach to collaborative research. We hope that the findings of these seven studies will be truly impactful and will find new interventions and policy adjustments that can help to save lives, and prevent more people from being gone to soon”
Lea Milligan, CEO MQ Mental Health Research
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