About Us

Severe mental illness is the leading cause of disability and currently afflicts as many as 55 million people in the United States alone. We at the Institute for Social and Psychiatric Initiatives– Research, Education and Services (InSPIRES) believe that a fundamental and critical human need is to connect with others. Impediments in forming relationships can devastate individuals, families and communities. These mental disorders impose a large financial burden on society.

InSPIRES was founded on the premise that only by synthesizing advancements from a wide spectrum of diverse scientific fields will we find a cure for these debilitating illnesses.

Our Mission

InSPIRES is dedicated to discovering the causes of and finding new cures for mental illness. We are an interdisciplinary team of scientists who generate and research new ideas about the intergenerational and life course determinants of human health. We believe that scientists from various fields must work together to achieve more than incremental advancements in our current knowledge of psychiatry and society. We conduct integrated studies in patient research, laboratory science and human populations. InSPIRES’ goal is for our research to influence public policy and clinical practices and foster a future of resilient individuals and healthy communities.

Our Promises

  • Find the different subtypes of schizophrenia that respond to specific treatments
  • Help people with depression who may not respond to medications
  • Determine if schizophrenia and aging can be reversed through brain plasticity
  • Advance the understanding of aggression through the lens of mental illness
  • Understand the genetic and epigenetic contributions to mental health
  • Use brain plasticity as a pathway to mental health

Our Founder

The founder and director of InSPIRES, Dr. Dolores Malaspina, is a physician, scientist, psychiatrist, epidemiologist, zoologist, world-renowned researcher and the former chairman of the New York University – Bellevue Department of Psychiatry. Long funded by the National Institutes of Health, her decades of mentoring scientists and spear-heading research have led to such groundbreaking discoveries as the profound influence of psychological and emotional stressors on maternal and fetal health, the potential role of environmental toxins in mental illness and the impact of paternal age on the risks for autism and schizophrenia.