Date published: 10/29/2015

Michelle Craske is on the executive board of the second UCLA Grand Challenge, The Depression Grand Challenge.

Chancellor Gene Block announced on October 28, 2015 the second UCLA Grand Challenge, which targets depression. In announcing the Depression Grand Challenge, UCLA is committing to cutting the burden of depressive disorders in half by the year 2050, and to eliminating it by the end of the century.

More than 100 UCLA faculty members in 25 departments already are involved in cross-disciplinary research into depressive disorders and we expect that number to grow. The Depression Grand Challenge comprises four interrelated components:

  • Finding the causes of depression through a 100,000-person genetic study, the largest ever for a single disorder.
  • Focusing on discoveries in neuroscience to understand the brain’s role in depressive disorders.
  • Creating an innovative treatment center for people at risk for, or suffering from, depression.
  • Understanding and dismantling the stigma associated with depression.

The Depression Grand Challenge is being led by Nelson Freimer, the Maggie G. Gilbert Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and associate director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Also on the executive committee are Michelle Craske, a professor of psychology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and the director of the Anxiety and Depression Research Center at UCLA; S. Lawrence Zipursky, a professor of biological chemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; and Jonathan Flint, an esteemed depression researcher who is leaving Oxford University to join our faculty and will lead the 100,000-person study.

To learn more about the Depression Grand Challenge and the Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, which launched in 2013, please visit the UCLA Grand Challenges website.