U of U Health Sciences Announces Major Neuroscience Initiative

Neuroimaging researcher

Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, announced the planning of a major neuroscience initiative to enhance collaborations in brain and spinal cord research across campus, with an emphasis on bringing scientific advances to the clinic. The eighteen member planning committee, headed by Monica Vetter, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, is comprised of faculty from twelve departments.

“The goal is to facilitate a pipeline of innovation in neuroscience linking basic and translational science leading to improved clinical outcomes and novel applications,” said Vetter. “This will be achieved by promoting collaboration and interdisciplinary research, and encouraging ‘out of the box’ approaches to challenging problems.”

John White, Ph.D., USTAR Professor of Bioengineering and Director of the Brain Institute, says the program will follow on the tradition of the Brain Institute, building upon the university’s strengths in neurobiology, neural engineering, neurology, imaging, and other related fields.

“The neuroscience initiative has the promise to expand upon the themes of the Brain Institute at a substantially larger scale, with a greater degree of interaction among clinicians, scientists, and technologists,” said White, also on the strategic planning committee. “This is an excellent time for an effort that focuses on specific problems that are societal priorities and align well with our strengths.”

The committee is engaging the neuroscience community-at-large in discussions on the best ways to proceed. They expect to issue a final report in early 2014.

Members of the U of U neuroscience community are encouraged to contact committee members with ideas and suggestions.


Neuroscience Planning Committee Members:

Monica Vetter, Ph.D. (Chair) Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
Kathleen Digre, M.D. (co-Chair) Department of Neurology
Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Ph.D. (co-Chair)
Department of Psychiatry
Jeff Anderson M.D., Ph.D. Department of Radiology
Ed Dudek, Ph.D. Department of Neurosurgery
Glenn Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S. Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Dentistry
Paul House, M.D. Department of Neurosurgery
Lynn Jorde, Ph.D. Department of Human Genetics
Rich Kendall, D.O. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Jennifer Majersik, M.D. Department of Neurology
Robin Marcus, Ph.D. College of Health
William McMahon, M.D. Department of Psychiatry
Richard Normann, Ph.D. Department of Bioengineering
Anne Osborn, M.D.
Department of Radiology
Tom Parks, Ph.D. Vice President for Research
Stefan Pulst, M.D. Department of Neurology
John White, Ph.D. Department of Bioengineering
H. Steve White, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology