Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program at the U-M Depression Center

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The mission of the Prechter Bipolar Research Program is to discover the mechanisms that contribute to bipolar disorder, predict and improve outcomes, and develop effective, innovative treatments.


The Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder: We track more than 1,300 individuals and generate billions of data points through biological samples of DNA, neuropsychological testing, clinical interviews, bimonthly follow-ups and voice recordings.

Predicting Individual Outcomes for Rapid Intervention (PRIORI): We developed a cell phone app to analyze the sound waves of a patient’s speech to identify changes before a mood episode. PRIORI is designed to allow intervention prior to onset, decreasing the likelihood of extreme episodes of mania, depression, and suicide.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research: We are transforming patients’ skin cells into stem cells and ultimately into brain cells. Our goal is to find personalized solutions for patients.

Genetics: Bipolar disorder runs in families — it is a complex genetic illness. We have one of the nation’s largest databases for bipolar genetics. Our objective is to accelerate the pace of genetic research into the origins of bipolar disorder to find more effective therapies.


Melvin G. McInnis, M.D., FRCPsych,
Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program
Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth, Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression
Professor of Psychiatry
Associate Director, University of Michigan Depression Center

Waltraud “Wally” Prechter, Founder, Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program


Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program
at the University of Michigan Depression Center
4250 Plymouth Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
877-UM-GENES (877-864-3637)