CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Misophonia Research Fund (MRF), an initiative of the REAM Foundation, demonstrates how $10 million in research investment can spur the growth of a new scientific field, drive the initiation and progress of research studies, and deliver long-awaited answers. Misophonia is a disorder of decreased tolerance to specific sounds or stimuli associated with such sounds. These stimuli, known as “triggers”, evoke strong negative emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses in those with misophonia that are not seen in most other people.
Driven by the investment of the Fund since its founding in 2019, 25 new peer-reviewed papers on misophonia were accepted in the past five years – representing 20% of all current scientific literature on misophonia.
New Research Investigating Misophonia
Today, the Fund announces six recipients of its latest round of grants supporting scientific investigators who seek to characterize misophonia and develop new therapeutic strategies. This year’s funded projects join the 26 previously awarded scientific projects dedicated to building a fundamental understanding of misophonia, supporting the development of diagnostic tools, driving the rigor of misophonia clinical studies, and enhancing interdisciplinary science and collaboration:
Howard Berenbaum, PhD, Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
An Interdisciplinary Study Characterizing Misophonia Across Nations and Across the Lifespan: An assessment of misophonia across cultures aimed at identifying common mechanisms or key cultural differences that drive its development or experience.
Phillip Gander, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, University of Iowa
Novel Investigations of Brain Mechanisms for Different Triggers in Misophonia: Examining the specificity of brain responses to misophonia triggers and determining whether responses depend on the types of triggers.
Erin Hannon, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Development of Misophonia and Other Auditory Affective Experiences in Children and Adolescents: A longitudinal study on the development of misophonia during adolescence and examination of its connection with musicality and other auditory experiences.
Mark Huff, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Southern Mississippi
Characterizing Attention and Memory Deficits in Misophonic Individuals Following Trigger Exposure: An examination of how misophonia affects the cognitive processes underlying control of attention and memory.
Andrada Neacsiu, PhD, Associate Professor, Duke University
Using Neurostimulation to Accelerate Change in Misophonia: A Pilot Study: Identifying changes in misophonia symptoms in response to an intervention consisting of emotion regulation skills with or without brain neuromodulation.
Marta Siepsiak, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Warsaw
Cognitive Reappraisal in Reducing Affective, Behavioral, and Psychophysiological Symptoms of Misophonia: Identifying changes in misophonia symptoms in response to a psychotherapeutic intervention called cognitive reappraisal.
Investment in Misophonia Research: $10M and Beyond
The announcement of these newly funded projects marks the fifth anniversary of the Misophonia Research Fund and the crossing of the $10 million of investment by the Fund into a field that, prior to its creation, had no dedicated research funding and scant scientific or therapeutic progress.
Calls for the 2024 MRF funding cycle are open. Investigators and postdoctoral researchers dedicated to advancing a world where misophonia is scientifically understood and effectively treatable are encouraged to submit Letters of Intent before Friday, December 8th, 11:59 PM PT.
Welcoming the MRF’s Inaugural Director
Powered by the uptick in misophonia investment and researcher participation, the Fund also welcomes its first Executive Director, Lauren Harte-Hargrove, PhD, who will work as a dedicated leader of the Fund to catalyze progress in misophonia. Dr. Harte-Hargrove brings over 15 years of experience in neuroscience research and leadership in the nonprofit sector.
“Our nationwide search landed the perfect person to lead the Misophonia Research Fund. Dr. Harte-Hargrove has a deep neuroscience background, as well as executive experience at a major grantmaking organization. We’re thrilled to welcome her as MRF’s Executive Director and look forward to working together to advance misophonia research,” said Diane Miller, President of the REAM Foundation.
Prior to joining the MRF, Dr. Harte-Hargrove served as the Director of Research at CURE Epilepsy and Project Manager for the International League Against Epilepsy/American Epilepsy Society Joint Translational Task Force. Dr. Harte-Hargrove’s joining marks the Fund’s shift towards independence. Over the last five years, the Milken Institute's Philanthropy team was instrumental in developing and implementing the MRF and will continue to guide MRF through its expansion and this exciting new status.
About the Misophonia Research Fund
The Misophonia Research Fund (MRF) is focused on advancing scientific breakthroughs and ending suffering from misophonia. MRF was launched in 2019 with an inaugural round of funding for medical research grants that seek to better understand misophonia, diagnose people who have the condition, and assess treatment strategies. MRF is an initiative of The REAM Foundation, a private family foundation. Through a competitive grants program, MRF seeks to foster innovative science and new treatments for misophonia. For more information, visit misophoniaresearchfund.org.