Earlier this month, the White House announced that William Newsome, PhD, a professor of neurobiology at Stanford, was one of two scientists selected to lead the BRAIN Initiative, a $100 million research effort aimed at developing new technologies and methods for understanding the human brain. Now comes news that Newsome has been appointed to direct Stanford's new interdisciplinary neuroscience institute.
A story published today in the Stanford Report offers a closer look at how the institute "will catalyze new interdisciplinary collaborations at the boundaries of neuroscience and a broad array of disciplines." Bjorn Carey writes:
A committee of faculty leaders has been planning the institute's make-up for more than a year, and has identified six major research themes that will form the backbone of the effort:
- The "Language" of the Brain: Cracking the Neural Code
- Enhancing the Brain: Brain-Machine Interfaces and Neuromodulation
- Understanding Human Thought: Decisions, Memory and Emotion
- The Brain in Disease: Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
- The Changing Brain: Development, Learning and Aging
- Neuroscience for Society: Education, Law and Business
One of Newsome's first efforts will be to meet with faculty from various departments that have a stake in current neuroscience research at Stanford, as well as with faculty and departments who are new to the field, to discuss how they might get involved.
"I think most people will be able to look at these six initiatives and see where they fit in, but we'll need interdisciplinary leadership to determine where the best research opportunities lie," he said. Which of these areas of study take flight will depend somewhat on the scientific opportunities that emerge, and where faculty and students band together to work cooperatively on an important research goal.