Matthew Byerly
Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Jason DeShaw
A Montana Country-Western singer with Bipolar Disorder


Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Time: 7 PM
Place: Crawford Theater, Emerson Cultural Center

Title: The Science and Experience of Mental Illness

Sponsoring department: Cell Biology & Neuroscience


Join us for a discussion to better understand mental illness, from both the patient perspective and from that of the clinical and scientific community. The goal of the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at MSU, in collaboration with the Montana chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), is to develop innovative and effective diagnostic and treatment strategies to improve the quality of lives of people who struggle with these disorders. This evening will explore the experience of mental illness and our current best practices for its diagnosis and treatment. We will hear from Jason Deshaw, a Montana cowboy who is a nationally acclaimed country western singer/songwriter/guitarist who struggles with bipolar disorder, and from Dr. Matt Bylerly, a psychiatrist and scientist at UT Southwestern, who has devoted his career to improving the diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illness. This evening will enrich our appreciation of the complexity of the human condition.

About the speakers:

Dr. Matthew Byerly’s research focuses on improving treatments for those with schizophrenia, having served on multiple expert panels related to antipsychotic treatments and as a member of the Food and Drug Administration Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee. He has studied the extent, correlates and consequences of medication non-adherence, as well as methods to improve medication adherence. This work led to the development of the Brief Adherence Rating Scale, a leading scale of medication adherence assessment. He is currently linking improved medication adherence assessment methods with adherence interventions to determine if such approaches can reduce the symptoms and enhance the functioning of those with schizophrenia. In 2012, Dr. Byerly joined the UT Southwestern Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD), extending his research interest to studying potential pharmacologic treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders. 

Jason DeShaw was born and raised in Montana. He wrote his first song on a John Deere tractor and made his recording debut on his mother’s answering machine. DeShaw has performed in 35 states, Canada and Europe. He has opened for The Oakridge Boys, Emerson Drive and Little Big Town and has headlined two bio-diesel tours. Amidst touring, he has released five albums of original music. Beyond the music, DeShaw is an inspirational speaker sharing his story of living with bipolar disorder. His story of recovery, “Serenity in the Storm,” is interwoven with original music that soundtracks his life’s struggles and triumphs.