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Mental Health Awareness Month: How CIRM is advancing research for neuropsychiatric disorders

Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May each year to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in America.  

In California, it is estimated that 1.2 million adults have a serious mental illness and that 5.6 million adults have a mental health condition. 

Today, neuropsychiatric disorders continue to exert a tremendous burden on patients and caretakers across California and the nation, and effective treatments for these diseases remain a significant unmet medical need.  

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is proud to support innovative research and the development of novel therapeutics to address this pressing need.

CIRM’s commitment to central nervous system (CNS) disease research

Approved by California voters in 2020, Proposition 14 dedicates at least $1.5 billion of CIRM’s $5.5 billion total bond funding to the support of research and development of treatments for diseases and conditions of the brain and central nervous system, building on CIRM’s long-standing support for neuroscience research from foundational discoveries to clinical trials. 

CIRM’s ReMIND program 

To accelerate scientific understanding of neuropsychiatric disease, CIRM launched a new multidisciplinary funding program in 2023 called ReMIND (Research using Multidisciplinary Innovative approaches in Neuro Diseases).  

ReMIND supports discovery-stage research that leverages collaborative efforts across California and was developed in part to build on the exciting advances in stem cells and genetic research in this field. 

“Effective treatments for neuropsychiatric diseases remain a significant unmet medical need in California, the US and the World. The ReMIND program is part of a deliberate drive at CIRM to support multidisciplinary discovery research as a way to catalyze innovation, especially in areas of large potential impact,” said Dr. Rosa Canet-Aviles, VP of Scientific Programs and Education at CIRM. 


In May 2024, CIRM received 26 applications for its first funding opportunity—ReMIND-L (DISC4)—from 11 academic institutions across the state. A majority of the applications involved cross-institutional collaborations.  

In total, over 150 California investigators (including 40% women investigators) participated as core members in these applications. The proposed research spans multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, major depression, substance use disorders, as well as autism.

Upcoming funding opportunities: ReMIND-X (DISC 5)

Building on this effort, a second collaborative funding opportunity under the ReMIND umbrella, ReMIND-X, will support exploratory studies led by collaborative teams of 2-3 investigators to test novel models, tools, technologies, and hypotheses.  

Funding decisions for ReMIND-L (DISC4) are expected later this year. 

The Request for Applications (RFA) for ReMIND-X will be available in late 2024/early 2025. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the ReMIND webpage for more information. 

Together, CIRM’s ReMIND research programs have the potential to impact Californians and the world to find new disease mechanisms for mental health disorders.