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Executive Board

Monica Vetter
Neurobiology and Anatomy

Bill Couldwell

Kristen Keefe
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Satoshi Minoshima

Randy Olson 

Stefan Pulst

Chris Johnson
Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute

Anne Osborn

Jon-Kar Zubieta

Scientific Advisory Board

Monica Vetter
Neurobiology and Anatomy

Ed Dudek

Tom Lane

Toto Olivera

Gordon Smith

Deborah Yurgelun-Todd

K. C. Brennan

Neuroscience Initiative Logo

About the Neuroscience Initiative

A startling one in three of us will suffer from a brain disorder within our lifetime. The ripple effects touch many more, when taking into account support for loved ones with mental disorders, brain injuries, and neurological diseases, and the $200 billion strain these conditions place on the health care system each year.

The University of Utah launched the Neuroscience Initiative in Fall 2014 to take steps towards alleviating the devastating effects of brain disorders. The initiative was created with a goal of deepening our understanding of the brain in disease and in health, and transforming this knowledge into innovative solutions for patient care. The University’s $10 million commitment aligns with President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative which calls upon universities, government agencies, and private organizations across the nation to develop new tools to map the trillions of connections within the human brain. Synergy between the Neuroscience Initiative and national efforts ensures that outcomes from the Neuroscience Initiative will impact not only Utahns, but patients worldwide.

The University of Utah boasts a long tradition of excellence inbrain neuroscience, related disciplines, and clinical care. The community – ranging from neurologists to imaging specialists to molecular biologists – spans six colleges and schools, 15 centers and institutes, and more than 20 departments. A central focus of the Neuroscience Initiative is to build an integrated academic environment to develop and support collaboration across disciplines, and between clinicians and researchers. Funding will support mechanisms for furthering these goals such as faculty recruitment, seed grants, symposia, training programs, and community outreach.

How will it work?

The Neuroscience Initiative will link basic, translational, and clinical research in five disease areas:

  • Demyelinating and neuroimmune diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, neurovirology)
  • Mood and behavior disorders (e.g. autism, depression, and addiction)
  • Neural injury and recovery (e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury)
  • Neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, neuromuscular disorders, retinal degeneration)
  • Episodic brain dysfunction (e.g. epilepsy, headache, pain, sleep disorders)

and five methodological platforms:

  • Brain imaging
  • Neural engineering
  • Connectivity
  • Clinical and translational science
  • Genetics



Neuroscience Initiative Program Office
Sumit Bhattacharya, PhD
Program Manager, Neuroscience Initiative
20 S 2030 E
Building 570 BPRB
Room 390F (physical)
Room 320 (mailing)
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone: (801) 585-0343


Last Updated: 10/3/16