Sapere Aude Starting grant to Vibe Frøkjær

We are very happy to announce that Vibe Gedsø Frøkjær has been awarded a prestigious Sapere Aude Starting Grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark (IFRD) for her 4-year project "Window of opportunity for protecting mental health during perinatal hormonal transition".

Vibe's Sapere Aude grant is worth 4.225.921 DKK and it enables her to gather her own small research team at NRU, consisting of at least a medical PhD-student and a data analyst, which will be supported by a group of technical staff members and will collaborate closely with Prof. Anja Pinborg from Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Hvidovre Hospital and Managing Director Elizabeth Binder from Department of Translational Research in Psychiatry at Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.

We congratulate Vibe with the highly prestigious grant and look very much forward to hosting her project here at NRU!

Abstract from the granted proposal:
Perinatal hormonal transition triggers severe depressive episodes in some women. We do not know why. However, estrogen sensitivity appears to play a prominent role. Intriguingly, brain imaging data from our group point to an estradiol suppression dependent depressive response to sex hormone manipulations, which is linked to brain imaging markers of brain functions known to be disturbed in depression. It is currently unknown if estradiol administered in the immediate postpartum can disrupt such risk biology and protect mental health. Further, no biomarker to identify susceptible women and direct a precision medicine approach to prevention or treatment of perinatal depression is yet available. We propose to conduct a longitudinal brain imaging study in high-risk women with a prior history of perinatal depression, who will receive estradiol or placebo treatment in the immediate postpartum. This will directly illuminate opportunities for protecting mental health in a targeted manner.