Mental Health, Neurobehavioral Sciences and Psychiatry


The neurobehavioral sciences are gaining recognition for their potential to positively affect quality of life. Progress made in neuroscience has contributed new technologies to the armament of approaches for treating mental disorders.

Research at the MBI

New translational approaches include the development of pharmacological, electrical and behavioral therapies to alter brain circuitry in ways that facilitate progress toward positive mental health outcomes. Research by MBI scientists and clinicians includes, but is not limited to:

  • Testing of new behavioral approaches to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Development of new opioid analgesics with reduced potential for abuse
  • New brain stimulation protocols to treat depression
  • Development of drug therapies to treat symptoms of developmental disorders such as autism
  • Testing of potential pharmacological therapies to combat addiction and relapse
  • Fundamental research on the mechanisms by which stress affects the brain and cardiovascular system

Despite the challenges of treating mental health and behavior, faculty and staff at UF — boosted by the MBI’s collaborative research environment and resources — are committed to developing the next generation of therapies.

Center for Addiction Research & Education (CARE)

Led by director Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D., CARE is one of UF’s longest-existing university-wide centers, focused on creating a comprehensive and interdisciplinary environment that will lead to highly specialized research capable of shedding light on the neurobiological causes and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse. It includes researchers from a wide range of basic science and clinical departments and colleges at UF to provide diverse perspectives on understanding addiction.

Center for OCD, Anxiety & Related Disorders (COARD)

Led by director Carol Mathews, M.D., COARD is driven by an interdisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians who conduct either clinical or translational research aimed at understanding and treating OCD and anxiety disorders. With much still to be learned regarding the environmental versus genetic effects on these disorders as well as understanding the relevant brain circuitry involved and reducing the negative stigma that often follows these patients, this center is poised to dramatically alter and improve therapies and treatments for these disorders.

Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Facility (AMRIS)

Directed by Joanna Long, Ph.D., AMRIS is a state-of-the-art core that provides high-resolution brain imaging systems. This facility enhances the impact and scope of neuroscience imaging research at UF and beyond, as it is available to not only UF researchers, but also to all external academic and industrial scientists.

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