Brown garners $11M grant to study neuroscience of attention

Using an $11 million grant from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences, Brown University is creating a new research center to study the neuroscience of attention and related disorders. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



higher education

Brown garners $11M grant to study neuroscience of attention

COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY/KATHRYN TRINGALE
JEROME SANES, professor of neuroscience at Brown University, has been selected to lead the COBRE Center for Central Nervous System Function, which is being established by the university thanks to a National Institute for General Medical Sciences grant of $11 million over five years.
Posted 9/4/13

PROVIDENCE – Using an $11 million grant from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences, Brown University is creating a new research center to study the neuroscience of attention and related disorders.

To be named the COBRE (Centers for Biomedical Research Excellence) Center for Central Nervous System Function, the center will study five projects, each led by a junior faculty member, mentored by senior faculty. The leadership team for the undertaking will be Jerome Sanes, professor of neuroscience at Brown, deputy director Sheila Blulmstein, the Albert D. Mead professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, and John Davenport, associate director of Brown’s Institute for Brain Science.

“Attention is a gateway to human behavior, normal or abnormal,” said Sanes. “There is a wide range of functions that depend upon attention. You can list many of them just by thinking about what you do every day, such as deciding where to go, what to eat and remembering yesterday’s events.”

The federal grant will be released over five years, with the first year’s allocation totaling $2.5 million. In addition to the five projects, the grant will help develop methods and protocols for brain science investigators across Brown and its affiliated hospitals, including the acquisition of new research equipment.

The five junior faculty members and their projects and mentors are:

  • Dima Amso, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences, who will study the development of visual selective attention, the process by which the brain focuses on what’s relevant instead of on distractions. Her mentor will be Blumstein.

  • Dr. Wael Asaad, assistant professor of neurosurgery, who will focus on how the basal ganglia integrates sensory information from the cortex and motivational information from subcortical structures to generate learning. His mentor will be John Donoghue, director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science and Henry Merritt Wriston Professor of neuroscience and engineering.

  • Dr. Eric Morrow, assistant professor of molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry, who will use a combination of genetics, neuroimaging and psychiatric diagnosis techniques to determine whether autism patients with significant levels of obsessive-compulsive behaviors have a unique subtype of autism. His mentors will be Sorin Istrail, professor of computer science, and Dr. Steven Rasmussen, professor of psychiatry and human behavior.

  • Joo-Hyun Song, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, who will study how multiple neural systems in the brain work together when someone selects one target over another. Her mentor will be Sanes.

  • Michael Worden, research assistant professor of neuroscience, who will examine cases in which the brain must adapt to visual stimuli that are in conflict. His mentor will be David Sheinberg, professor of neuroscience.

The center’s dual goals, according to a statement, are “better explaining the brain and generating potential new ideas for addressing disorders such as autism.”

“For the university, this provides a very important bridge for junior investigators to jump-start their careers,” Sanes said. “It’s also important for Brown in that it provides a focal point for the further development of human neuroscience.”

Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

DEADLINE EXTENDED to Friday, October 3rd for applications for the 14th Annual Business Excellence Awards Program. And save the date for the Awards Dinner - November 12th at the Providence Marriott.
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement