Funded Projects

The Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions has funded 48 Innovation Grants led by UW teams that have the potential to make a big difference in brain health over the next five years. The work spans 10 schools and colleges and over 25 departments and divisions across all three UW campuses as well as numerous local and regional organizations. The list of Garvey Institute partners and collaborators shows the Institute’s commitment to further brain health across the University of Washington as well as locally, regionally and nationally.

Use the search function below to explore the many ways our Innovation Grants are improving the mental health of communities locally, nationally, and around the world.

Project Types

Patient Populations

Targeted Conditions

Geographic Areas

Adapting a resilience intervention for youth athletes

Youth mental health is in crisis and we do not have adequate providers to treat the current burden of illness. We must identify innovative approaches to support youth mental health that utilize the existing infrastructure and can be administered by non-clinicians. While sports are predominantly a positive outlet for youth, they also bring stressors due […]

Addressing suicide risk in primary care to reduce youth suicide

Suicide is a leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds in the US, and half of youth who die by suicide contact a primary care provider within one month prior to suicide. Suicide risk screening and access to brief and effective suicide prevention interventions remain an important step in reducing suicide, yet comprehensive suicide […]

Deploying a texting intervention for psychosis; from research to real-world practice

The vast majority of young adults with early psychosis own mobile phones, identify texting as their preferred communication modality, and report an interest in messaging-based treatments. We developed a texting intervention for people with psychosis called the Mobile Interventionist. Treatment is conducted via daily recovery-oriented text conversations between patients and a trained messaging practitioner. This […]

Developing a cannabis intervention for young adults with psychosis

Up to one-third of young people experiencing early psychosis use cannabis, and one in four meet criteria for a cannabis use disorder. Cannabis use is associated with multiple negative outcomes, including relapse, rehospitalization, increased psychotic symptoms and reduced treatment engagement and medication adherence. Psychosis relapse is a particularly devastating and costly outcome, leading to greater […]

Developing a digital platform to deliver family intervention for psychosis

The World Health Organization ranks psychotic disorders as the third most disabling health condition worldwide. Eleven million Americans will experience psychosis during their lifetime, and roughly 60 million Americans have a loved one affected by psychosis. Research affirms that psychotherapeutic interventions can help family caregivers develop skills to better connect and communicate with their loved […]

Development of a monoclonal antibody to reverse overdose from fentanyl and its analogs: from manufacturing to clinical trials

The widespread availability of fentanyl and other potent synthetic opioids has dramatically increased opioid-related fatal overdoses. This project will develop and manufacture immune molecules (monoclonal antibodies) to reverse and treat overdose from fentanyl by keeping it out of the brain. This research will advance promising results in animal studies (preventing and reversing fentanyl- and carfentanil-induced […]

Discovery of conversational best practices in online mental health support

Millions of people lack access to mental health treatment due to barriers such as limited therapist availability, long wait times, high cost, and stigma. The COVID-19 pandemic has problematically increased demand for treatment while decreasing access. Because the internet is widely available, many people first turn to the internet for mental health support, giving rise […]

Does the microbiome play a role in adverse outcomes following mTBI and PTSD?

The proposed research will be a preliminary investigation into the potential association between microbiota abundance, hormone levels, peripheral inflammation and current symptoms (psychiatric and cognitive) in Veterans with and without a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). This work has the potential to form a new line of research that could ultimately provide new […]

Expanding access to adolescent depression care by non-specialists with a digital intervention

Adolescent depression is one of the most common mental health concerns during adolescence and can be a cause of significant impairment across the lifespan, particularly if untreated. Access to evidence-based psychotherapy is poor and pandemic-related increased demand for services has greatly worsened access issues, leaving many adolescents without effective and critically needed treatment. Adolescent depression […]

Harnessing the ECHO Model to help Washingtonians with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability in Washington state and throughout the US. TBI increases the risk and complexity of multiple behavioral health conditions including post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, irritability, anger/aggression, substance misuse and cognitive impairment. In addition, TBI impairs a person’s ability to manage their health care and […]

Identifying and treating loneliness in young adults in primary care

Loneliness, defined as the feeling of insufficient personal relationships, affects over 20% of young adults. Those with loneliness are more depressed and anxious and have poorer educational outcomes. Cognitive behavioral therapy and social navigation can successfully treat loneliness but previous studies have mostly looked at older adults. The objective of this study is to demonstrate […]

Improving diagnostic imaging to guide treatment of neuroinflammation

Infection by West Nile Virus can lead to encephalitis, or harmful inflammation of the brain. The immune system is critical for controlling viral replication and spread early in West Nile Virus infection, but persistent immune activation causes encephalitis that can result in brain damage even after the virus has been cleared. Recent pharmacologic advances have […]

Improving resilience and recovery from traumatic events using the ECHO model

Most adults in the US experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives. Trauma is linked to the development of mental health disorders, increased suicidality, work and relationship impairment and increased physical health conditions. Effective treatments exist, but many people don’t receive these treatments because of a lack of providers who are trained […]

Innovative training for suicide prevention in addiction treatment settings

Although suicide is one of the leading causes of death for people with substance use disorders (SUDs), no widespread suicide prevention intervention exists for delivery in community addiction treatment settings. The effectiveness and feasibility of delivering Preventing Addiction Related Suicide (PARS), a group-based psychoeducational program that provides evidence-based suicide prevention and safety strategies, was recently […]

Leveraging artificial intelligence to improve digital mental health interventions

Cognitive therapies help patients by providing ways to modify habitual but unproductive thought patterns, known as maladaptive thinking styles. Cognitive therapies are effective in treating depression, amongst other conditions, and are increasingly delivered remotely as text-based interventions. This trend toward digital delivery has accelerated on account of physical isolation and psychological stressors during the global […]

Leveraging peer mentor texting to support maternal wellbeing in the perinatal period

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders affect one in seven pregnant and postpartum women nationwide, making them the most common complication of pregnancy. Unfortunately, only one in 20 women who need treatment for these conditions actually receives it. This translates to a multigenerational issue, which can negatively affect the mother and child’s long-term physical, emotional and […]

Monitoring mood symptoms in young adults at-risk for bipolar disorder

The ages of 18-25 years are ‘peak onset’ times of major depression and bipolar disorder. These disorders have different courses and treatments, but diagnosing bipolar disorder is difficult because manic symptoms occur less often than depressive symptoms and many individuals do not recall manic symptoms. A ‘misdiagnosis lag’ of 8-10 years can contribute to prolonged […]

Opioid prescription and use following traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common in the United States with 2.87 million emergency department visits related to TBI per year. Chronic pain is a frequent complaint following TBI, with more than half of patients reporting pain. Individuals with TBI are often prescribed opioids for pain following their injury, but unfortunately may be especially vulnerable […]

Optimizing mental health first-aid programming for sport coaches

Many sport organizations are increasingly vocal about the importance of athlete mental health. Helping organizations move beyond rhetoric to improved athlete wellbeing and safety requires evidence-based resources that are setting-appropriate and feasibly implemented. This project will develop and obtain feasibility and acceptability data on “Time Out for Mental Health”—a mental health first aid training for […]

Quantifying socio-cognitive deficits to optimize schizophrenia treatment

Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental health condition with high societal and personal costs, due largely to chronic difficulties with social and occupational functioning. While classical symptoms of schizophrenia – such as hearing voices – are often responsive to medication, people with schizophrenia also experience difficulties in social cognition, or understanding and interpreting the intentions and […]

Synthesizing position emission tomography (PET) data from MRI using deep learning

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging technique that uses radioactive substances to visualize and assess the brain function. Apart from its heavy use in clinical oncology, PET is widely used in a variety of other conditions such as various neurological, psychiatric, neuropsychological, and cognitive disorders and is the gold standard for assessing neurodegeneration. In […]

Using deep learning to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and predict its progression

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a degenerative condition that affected 5.8 million seniors in 2020 and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Detecting mild cognitive impairment, often a precursor to AD, and predicting its advance to AD dementia are key clinical diagnostic problems. Early diagnosis can motivate early intervention with lifestyle […]

Using neurocomputational modeling to track memory decline

The most salient and debilitating aspect of dementia is memory loss. Unfortunately, memory loss is also the most difficult to quantify because it relies on doctor-administered tests that cannot be repeated very often. Without frequent and accurate measurements, it is difficult for clinicians to make reliable diagnoses, for patients and their caretakers to prepare in […]

Using technology to scale Caring Contacts and reduce suicide

On top of climate change, political divisiveness and cultural turbulence, we have faced the most devastating pandemic since global influenza 100 years ago. The resulting social and economic stresses have manifested as widespread anxiety, a worsening opioid epidemic and the highest suicide rates in decades. Proven behavioral health strategies like Caring Contacts offer hope. Caring […]