BC Schizophrenia Society Foundation is proud to partner with the Michael Smith Foundation in Health Research to support the important work of researchers investigating schizophrenia – its causes and treatments – to build a better understanding of this mental illness.

This year, we are proud to announce the researcher receiving the Research Trainee Award is Rafal Skiba.

“In Canada around 1% of the population is diagnosed with schizophrenia, roughly corresponding to 51,000 people in British Columbia. One typical feature of Schizophrenia is making hasty decisions without weighing evidence; this is known as the “Jumping to Conclusion” (JTC) bias. The bias can be understood as a tendency of quickly committing a final decision based only on the first available evidence. One of the most successful forms of treating the bias in schizophrenia is Metacognitive Training. During this therapy, patients try to question the logic of their own decisions. The goal of this project is to enhance the beneficial effect of this treatment and establish methods for objective monitoring of successful therapy. The previous research of Prof. Woodward lab showed that is possible to track neural connections of brain regions involved in the JTC bias. Here, we plan to identify these networks in each of our patients. Next, using a new technology for safe electric modulation of neural connectivity, we will strengthen connections in the network. Through multiple testing sessions we will monitor changes in the brains of patients and thus the progress of therapy. This project can help us improve the treatment of schizophrenia.”

Congratulations, Rafal! We look forward to learning more about your research and seeing the impact it will have on future schizophrenia research, treatments, and therapies.

Learn more about this partnership and other 2021 award winners through the Michael Smith Foundation in Health Research.