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Brain Science Institute at Columbia University established by Kavli Foundation gift

The Kavli Foundation has announced a $7.5 million award to establish a Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) under the leadership of Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, M.D., University Professor of Psychiatry, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biophysiology. To date, the foundation has established nine Kavli Institutes internationally in the areas of neuroscience, cosmology, and nanoscience.

The Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University will focus on the development of novel experimental and computational strategies for analyzing and deciphering how signaling in neural circuits controls behavior. According to Dr. Kandel, "Our work will be directed toward developing more powerful tools to enable us to move from the study of individual nerve cells to that of complex neural systems which underlie the higher mental function."

For decades, Columbia University has been a leader in advancing the neurosciences. Neural science at Columbia has succeeded in forging into one discipline the previously distinct fields of cell biology, physiology, and development of the nervous system with molecular biology, including molecular genetics. Recently, Columbia also successfully unified this cell and molecular approach to the brain with systems neural science and cognitive psychology.

"Many of us believe that studying neural circuits of interconnected cells, rather than one cell at a time, will reveal the secret of disordered brain function," states Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D., CUMC executive vice president and dean of the Faculty of Medicine. "The Kavli Institute will spearhead neuroscience as a priority in our strategic planning at Columbia University Medical Center."

The first director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia will be Dr. Kandel, who was co-recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Co-directors are Thomas Jessell, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Co
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Contact: Annie Bayne
as862@columbia.edu
Columbia University Medical Center
10-Mar-2004


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