Bipolar Disorder Research Projects

Dr. Melvin McInnis, Scientific Director
Melvin McInnis, M.D., Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression, and Research Director of the Prechter Bipolar Research Program

Why focus on bipolar disorder research?

The study of bipolar disorder is the study of humanity -- the throes of mania deliver intense euphoria, while the depths of depression draw people into despair. The distance between these states defines infinity; when depression sets in, happiness seems light years away and in the manic state one conquers the universe with little to no reserve. The passage of time is affected in inexplicable ways, dragging on in depression and flashing by in mania.

One cannot know bipolar disorder without knowing uncertainty. And knowing bipolar disorder drives many questions, but there is one fundamental question: How can this happen? And, the “How?” is naturally followed by, “What can we do?”

Our research team's goal is to develop solutions for individuals with bipolar disorder. The underlying distinct biological mechanisms are the focus of our cellular and genetic research. We use technology to establish patterns of personal behavior and focus on identification of predictive features of disease to be able to anticipate mood episodes and subsequently intervene earlier.

The strengths and passions of our research team are vast, matched only by the dedication of our Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder research participants, and the generous support of our donors.

Bipolar disorder is an illness of profound variability of mood with a wide range of outcomes and associated illnesses. 

There are so many questions to be asked and answered. Why do some people prosper despite having bipolar? Why do so many die by suicide? Why is heart disease, migraines, and obesity so prevalent among people with bipolar? How can we inform the field of medicine with our research in bipolar?

Please click on the different research projects in the left-hand navigation to read more about each one.