BUFFALO, N.Y. – A gift of $600,000 from the Patrick P. Lee
Foundation is funding a University at Buffalo scientist’s
promising research on the cause of schizophrenia. It is the
foundation’s largest-ever grant to UB.
The devastating disease affects some 2 million Americans.
Schizophrenia most often strikes men and women from adolescence
through adulthood, but its origin may lie in genetic missteps years
earlier, when those it afflicts are still in the womb.
This is one implication of new findings from the laboratory of
Michal Stachowiak, PhD, in UB’s Department of Pathology and
Anatomical Sciences in the School of Medicine and Biomedical
The Lee Foundation grant will fund four-year fellowships for
three PhD or MD-PhD trainees to study and conduct research
investigating the new approach to schizophrenia under the direction
of Stachowiak and his team.
“Dr. Stachowiak and his team are focusing on revealing the
causes and neurodevelopmental mechanisms of schizophrenia; they are
hoping to discover new possibilities for developing schizophrenia
treatments, even a way to affect the development of this
disease,” stated Patrick P. Lee, chairman of The Patrick P.
In addition to producing the young researchers who will join the
race to understand schizophrenia, the fellowships help support
Stachowiak’s research efforts.
Stachowiak said their findings of novel gene regulatory
mechanisms suggest it might someday be possible to arrest the
progression of the disease before it fully develops.
“We believe that the transgenic mouse developed in our
laboratory offers a unique model that explains schizophrenia from
genes to brain structure and finally to development,” he
The Patrick P. Lee Foundation, based in Amherst, N.Y., was
formed by Patrick P. Lee in 2005. Lee built International Motion
Control, a worldwide conglomerate with manufacturing facilities.
It was acquired by ITT in 2007.
Reacting to the grant, UB’s Stachowiak said, “We
have dedicated our careers to better understanding schizophrenia
and we are very close to reaching a great milestone in how to treat
this disease. Never before have we been this excited about