On Saturday, March 12, the Hope for Depression Research Foundation held their 10th Anniversary Ceremony at the Breakers Hotel’s Gold Room in Palm Beach, Florida, honoring the many high-level donors that have contributed to the organization.
Founder and Southampton resident Audrey Gruss hosted the ceremony, welcoming attendees consisting primarily of neuroscientists and psychiatrists dedicated to the cause.
The event featured a number of speakers, the keynote speaker being New York Times bestselling author David Payne, who wrote the recent bestseller Barefoot in Avalon, a memoir about his brother who struggled with bipolar disorder. He was followed by Dr. Michael Meaney of McGill University, who updated the guests on the current work of the HDRF Depression Task Force, a collaboration of researchers and neuroscientists from the US and Canada organized by Gruss in 2010 to jumpstart an unprecedented research strategy in genetics, epigenetics, electrophysiology, molecular biology and brain imaging that delves into the roots of depression.
Gruss and her husband Martin founded the organization in 2006 in honor of her late mother, Hope, who suffered from severe depression for the latter half of her life. The foundation’s aim is to fund extensive and progressive research into the origins, diagnosis and treatment for depression and related mood disorders as well as to raise awareness of depression as a medical illness and removing the stigma from the public eye.
Gruss is also well-known locally for her support of Southampton Hospital.