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Sandy Hook Neuroscience Research Non-Profit Announces Next Round of Funding to Prevent Violence & Build Compassion

NEWTOWN, Conn., Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A Foundation created in honor of Sandy Hook School victim, Avielle Richman, funds violence prevention research. Founder and CEO Dr. Richman said, "Following Avielle's murder, we needed to find a purpose to get out of bed, to navigate our new reality without our beautiful little girl. We created a foundation to understand the scientific underpinnings of the disease that took our daughter, violence. The first round of research support produced significant scientific momentum toward understanding the roots of violence in our brain and we hope to really scale our funding with time to broaden our understanding of violence and compassion."

This week The Avielle Foundation (TAF) announced their 2018 Luminary, Research, and Public Health Awards.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and her Center for Youth Wellness received TAF's Luminary award. Dr. Harris has championed and indeed transformed pediatric medicine and profoundly raised public awareness of the way our society responds to child abuse, trauma, and toxic stress. Dr. Harris is courageously preventing violence to self and to others, building compassion, and improving the lives of children and communities.

TAF's Neuroscience Research Grant was awarded to Harvard Neuroscientist and psychologist Joshua Buckholtz who studies differences in brain circuitry that can explain failures in a person's ability to control acting on their impulses (for example, in psychopathic behavior).

The Public Health award went to Yale pediatrician James Dodington's group to study the effectiveness of a Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program.

In the past 5 years, the generosity of TAF donors has funded laboratory, clinical, and public health studies to understand the multi-faceted aspects of violence. The importance and success of these research efforts is highlighted by their publication in top-tier, peer-reviewed scientific journals including Nature Human Behaviour, Frontiers in Psychology, Neuropsychopharmacology, and Pediatrics, and the awarding of 7.1 million dollars in NIH Support to expand the studies.

About TAF – In the wake of their daughter, Avielle's, murder in Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 12, 2012, scientists Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel created The Avielle Foundation, the first and only nonprofit studying the neuroscience of violence, environmental risk factors that can lead to violence, and the protective factors that can lead toward compassion. TAF's mission is to prevent violence and build compassion through brain health research, community engagement, and education. Learn more at email us at

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Last Updated: 27-Sep-2018