Our History

Jonathan Swift was an English satirist, political commentator and cathedral dean who lived and wrote in the 18th and 19th centuries. He was fifty years old before his classic, “Gulliver’s Travels,” was published. He is also the father of the overused phrase, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.”It is also unlikely that Pat Elwell was thinking about an overused phrase when he talked of his frustration with friends some ten years ago. A family member needed help for depression, but finding the right combination of medication and counseling seemed impossible.

For some six years, Pat confided in friends who had similar frustrations with mental health care delivery system. One thing became clear to him – that just about everyone he had encountered either had a family member or someone close to them who suffered some form of mental illness or emotional disorder. In fact, he found that more people suffered from one of the many disorder under the mental illness umbrella than suffered from any other major disease, research spending on finding cures and treatments was lowest for mental illness. That revelation resulted in Pat calling his friends together.

It was a cool evening in late 1992 that a handful of caring, concerned citizens began meeting in a back room of Patrick’s Restaurant on Auburn Road in the shadow of the Silverdome. Some had family members with mental illness and others were interested professionals or simply people who realized a need and wanted to help. “NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION.” Jonathan Swift was right.

It didn’t take long to establish the goal of this fledgling group…raise money for brain research and erase the stigma that discourages donation for this cause. It was quickly decided that MIRA, Mental Illness Research Association, would be the name, and a major fund raiser was set for the fall of ’93. What amazes the original founders of MIRA is that unseasoned volunteers came together and succeeded in raising $100,000. That success strengthened MIRA’s resolve to pump much needed funds into mental illness research, specifically in Michigan.

It took Jonathan Swift many year to write “Gulliver’s Travels.” Pat Elwell and his friends took only a few years to create MIRA with its purpose of funding research. Anything worthwhile takes time, and MIRA is a prime example of a noble effort targeted at an extremely deserving cause – bringing a quality of life back to the 40 million Americans who are afflicted with emotional disorders or mental illness.

MIRA truly is the child of necessity. Public funding for mental illness research is dwindling. With your help, we can maintain and accelerate the rate of scientific progress in this area.

M.I.R.A. Founders

Research History

Alzheimer’s—Brain Production of Copper-Binding Protein
Sinai Clinical Neuroscience Center – 2 Year Grant
Peter Lewitt, MD – David Loeffler, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Neurofeedback Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children
A Double-Blind Placebo Controlled StudyWayne State University School of Medicine
John DeLuca, Ph.D.

Autism—A PET Scan Study of Serotonin Production
Children’s Hospital of Michigan – 4 Year Grant

Harry Chugani, MD – Diane Chugani, Ph.D.

The Autism Clinical Research Program
Children’s Hospital of Michigan – 3 Year Grant
(A MIRA/Pheasant Ring Funded Project)
Harry Chugani, MD – Diane Chugani, Ph.D.

Bi-Polar Disorder—Quantification of Monoaminergic Synaptic Density in Bi-Polar Disorder, Type I and II
(In conjunction with The Arthur Forest Tull II Memorial Fund)
University of Michigan Medical Center
Jon-Kar Zubieta, MD, Ph.D

Depression—Treatment Resistant Depression with PMS
Wayne State University
Alan Rosenbaum, MD

Reduction of Morbidity From Depression By Reversal of Brain Morphologic Changes
University of Michigan Medical Center
John F. Greden, MD

Geriatric Depression—Use of Depakote and Atypical Antipsychotics in Elderly Agitated Depressed Patients
Psychopharmocology Research, Inc.
Alan Rosenbaum, MD



Harry T. Chugani, MD

Some children develop sudden onset jerking movements of the arms and legs (tics) and severe behavioral changes, such as obsessive-compulsive and oppositional behaviors, emotional instability, cognitive disturbances and hyperactivity, following infections, such as “strep throat” with group-A beta-hemolytic streptococcus, etc. This condition is known as Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS).


Not much is known about the exact cause of this disease, though people suspect inflammatory involvement of the brain, particularly basal ganglia (central part of the brain involved in movement and behavior). Therefore, we used positron emission tomography (with a special probe [11C]-PK11195, which can detect brain inflammation) to evaluate brain inflammatory changes in 17 PANDAS children (mean age: 11.4 years; 13 males). We found inflammatory changes in basal ganglia in these children. We also found that inflammatory changes were higher in older children and decreased with time, particularly after anti-inflammatory treatment such as intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg).

Post Stroke Depression

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It is estimated that about one-third of stroke patients develop Post-Stroke Depression (PSD)- making it one of the most common complications of stroke. If not screened, patients with PSD are more often undiagnosed and untreated. Untreated PSD leads to a further deterioration in quality of life, which affects recovery of one’s strength and disability after a stroke, makes the individual more prone to death and results in significant caregiver stress. There is a critical need to identify the sub-group of stroke patients at a high risk of developing PSD, and detect and treat PSD. The Wayne State University Comprehensive Stroke Program; comprised of a team of 7 neurologists, critical care specialists, stroke fellows, research nurses and nurse coordinators, is looking to develop a program where PSD can be detected early- at one to three months), and initiate early treatment, thereby improving the chances of a better recovery and an enhanced quality of life. Funds provided by MIRA will help the Comprehensive Stroke Clinic establish a program to address PSD in a systematic and timely manner.

Elaine Baker
Pres. & Gen. Mgr. 104.3 WOMC – Retired


Len Barnes
Editor, Michigan Living – Retired

Henry Baskin, Esq.
Henry Baskin, PC


Doris Biscoe
Doris Biscoe Communications, Inc.

Michael Boyle III, DO
Maplegrove Center

William & Jane Broomfield
US Congressman – Retired

Ron Campbell
Vice President Detroit Pistons


Jeffrey Cauley
Jack Cauley Chevrolet


Rev. Dr. Richard Cheatham
Franklin Community Church – Retired


Jim Clayton
General Mgr. WJBK – Fox2


Rev. Fr. Leonte Copacia, Jr.
St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Mission Parish


David Olen M.D.
Psychiatrist and MIRA’s original medical director


Ray Elliot
Elliot & Sons Insurance


Patrick Elwell
Owner – Patrick’s Restaurant


Alan Frank
Vice Pres. & General Mgr., WDIV TV4


John F Greden, MD
Chairman Dept. of Psychiatry, U of M


Most Rev. Bernard J. Harrington, D.D.
Bishop of Winona


Msgr. Dennis Harrity
Our Lady Star of The Sea Catholic Church – Retired


Rev. Philip Hemke
Our Beautiful Savior Lutheren


Rev. Fr. Demitrios Kavadas
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church – Retired


Daniel J. Kelly
Senior Partner Deloitte & Touche – Retired

Hon. Joseph Knollenberg
US House of Representatives


Rev. Arnold Kostco
Prince of Peace Catholic Church – Deceased


John Dankworth & Cleo Laine


V. Joseph Laramie
Heiniburg Thailand Co., Ltd

Cheryl Lippert
KPMG Consulting Partner


Calvin Lipitt
CEO, Select Care HMO – Retired


William Morgan
Senior Vice Pres. Elias Brothers


Marianne Nestor
St. Joseph Mercy – Retired


Robert C. Nestor, DO
Orthopedic Surgeon – Retired


Rev. Richard Osebold
St. John Bosco Catholic Church


L.. Brooks Patterson
Oakland County Executive - 


Rev. John Leo Phalen
St. Joseph Catholic Church


Peppino Puleo


Dick Purtan
Radio Disc Jockey – Retired


Fred Raznik
Vice Pres. Vlassic Foods – Deceased


James A. Reiter, Esq.
Charfoos, Reiter, Peterson, Holmquist & Pilchak, PC


Gary Russi, Ph.D.
President, Oakland University


Thomas G. Sawyer, Esq.
Hutson, Sawyer, Chapman & Reilly


Chuck Schmidt
President, Joe Schmidt Sales, Inc.


Russell & Cathy Shelton
Shelton Pontiac, Buick, Inc.


Gary Stolicker
Oakland Press – Retired


Msgr. Anthony Tocco
St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic Church


M. Diane Vincent
VBH Square Lake – Retired


Ki & Marian Voog
Mitchell Buick Sales, Inc


Tom Wilson
President Detroit Pistons


John Williamson
Cranbrook Insurance Agency