It is striking to reflect on what a very different summer this is than 2020. McLean has come through this pandemic deeply grounded in our mission. The stories in this edition of Horizons feature some of the most vibrant aspects of our work, such as personal connections, innovation, and diversity.
Our first piece tells of a generous gift that celebrates leadership and innovation. It is the culmination of a long and trusted relationship with a family who has chosen McLean as the recipient of years of philanthropy. Their recent gift will serve to both sustain and advance emerging leaders in neuroscience research for years to come.
Next, you’ll read about a couple that has chosen to support young researchers probing better treatments for obsessive compulsive disorder. Hope, determination, and innovation are the defining features of their efforts.
As McLean, in conjunction with our parent organization Mass General Brigham, continues its strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, several donors helped us launch an innovative new internship this summer. The initiative enabled seven promising college students of color to work in McLean labs as research fellows while they receive professional support, mentorship, and assistance in developing the skills they will need to pursue careers in the neuroscience field.
Finally, after a year-long hiatus, members of the McLean Board of Visitors gathered in the virtual realm to reconnect and hear research, clinical, and educational updates from McLean leadership. And the annual Ride for Mental Health came back in person in June with record attendance and some much-needed social connection.
Rappaport Gift Is Culmination of Two Decades of Basic Neuroscience Support
Phyllis and Jerry Rappaport take two things very seriously: McLean Hospital’s leadership in neuroscience research and the importance of emerging leaders in advancing the field of psychiatry. As evidence, and a capstone to a 20-year relationship with the hospital, the couple has endowed both McLean’s division of basic neuroscience—now called the Jerry and Phyllis Rappaport Center of Excellence in Basic Neuroscience Research—and established the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Endowed Chair in Psychiatry.
Family Supports Young OCD Researchers Discovering Ways to Better Tailor Treatment
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the gold standard therapy for people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). But for some reason, it wasn’t effective for Anne and Andy Heller’s family member. So, the couple, who are members of McLean’s National Council and generous donors to OCD research at McLean, are pleased to be supporting a promising young researcher who is looking into why the therapy doesn’t work well for some patients.
New Summer Research Program Welcomes Undergraduates of Color
“Racial and ethnic diversity in science is essential to delivering excellence and superior innovations,” said Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, PhD, McLean’s chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer. McLean President and Psychiatrist in Chief Scott L. Rauch, MD, along with Pinder-Amaker and other members of McLean leadership have championed this concept and are working together to develop a variety of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives across the hospital. McLean’s new Mental Health Research Summer Program (MMHRSP), directed by Nigerian-born neuroscientist Oluwarotimi Folorunso, PhD, is one of the hospital’s newest efforts in this arena.
Board of Visitors Convenes Using a Virtual Platform
The McLean Board of Visitors (BoV) gathers annually to connect and learn about current innovations in research, clinical care, and training at McLean. Sally Lee is a longtime member of the group and a former patient at McLean. She credits the hospital for saving her life and now pays it forward through advocacy, philanthropy, and enthusiastic involvement in the BoV.
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