Kavli Foundation, University Partners Announce Brain Research Plans

New neuroscience institutes at Johns Hopkins University, The Rockefeller University, and the University of California, San Francisco, along with their commitment of more than $100 million in new funds for research on the brain and brain-related disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

The Kavli Foundation and three university partners recently announced the founding of three new neuroscience institutes at Johns Hopkins University, The Rockefeller University, and the University of California, San Francisco, along with their commitment of more than $100 million in new funds for research on the brain and brain-related disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

The research advances the national Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, a public/private collaboration launched by President Obama in April 2013, when the foundation pledged to spend $40 million in support of basic neuroscience research. "With this announcement, the foundation more than meets this commitment," said Robert W. Conn, president and CEO of The Kavli Foundation. "The establishment of three new institutes, along with the added investment in our existing neuroscience institutes, will further empower great scientists to help write the next chapter in neuroscience."

The new Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute at Johns Hopkins is expected to launch in early 2016. The Kavli Neural Systems Institute at Rockefeller University will promote interdisciplinary research and learning to tackle the biggest questions in neuroscience, while the Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience at UCSF will focus initially on understanding brain plasticity--the ability of the brain to modify its structure and function.

"We are delighted to announce this major commitment to promoting a sustained, interdisciplinary effort to solve the mysteries of the brain," said Rockell N. Hankin, chairman of the Board of Directors at the foundation, which is based in Oxnard, Calif. "By transcending the traditional boundaries of research, the new neuroscience institutes will make breakthrough discoveries possible."

The institute at Johns Hopkins will draw on the university's expertise in "Big Data" analytics. "The challenges of tomorrow will not be confined to distinct disciplines, and neither will the solutions we create," said JHU President Ronald J. Daniels. "The Kavli Foundation award is a tremendous honor because it allows Johns Hopkins to build on our history of pioneering neuroscience and to catalyze new partnerships with engineers and data scientists that will be essential to building a unified understanding of brain function."

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