Emily Ansell, Ph.D.

BBRF Grantee: 2015 – 2017

Pennsylvania State University

(Received BBRF Grant while at Syracuse University)

Dr. Ansell will investigate neural system dysfunctions underlying suicidality and explore a possible drug intervention for high-risk individuals—in this case, people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Suicidality is thought to be a result of dysregulation in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC). A compound called Guanfacine HCl has been shown to ameliorate PFC dysregulation. Thirty patients with BPD will undergo brain imaging before receiving either Guanfacine or a placebo and after eight weeks of treatment. Dr. Ansell hopes these results will identify Guanfacine as a pharmaceutical method of reducing suicidality as well as provide further evidence for the PFC’s role in emotional and impulse regulation.

Meet Our BPD Researchers

Sandra Sanchez Roige
Christian Ebbesen, Ph.D.
Takashi Sato, Ph.D.