Joel Nigg, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of the Division of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, has received a MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award from the National Institute of Mental Health to further his work on the underlying mechanisms and causes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
A leader in the field of ADHD research, Dr. Nigg has created a unique integration of methodologies that enables new insights about the condition. Funding from the MERIT award will be used to collect data on phenotype analysis, genetics, epigenetics, and clinical observation–all in the same children–and to track these children over a number of years.
MERIT awards are given to a small percentage of NIH-funded investigators who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity. Unlike traditional NIH awards, investigators cannot apply for MERIT awards. Candidates are nominated and selected by program staff and the National Institute of Mental Health Council.
The award will provide stable, long-term support for Dr. Nigg’s research program without requiring him to go through the typical grant renewal process. With reduced pressure for grant proposals and renewals, Dr. Nigg says he will have the flexibility to pursue more creative research ideas.