MHRI’s early leaders adopted the broadest possible definition of the emerging discipline of neuroscience – a term coined at U-M during this era but not yet widely used. Participating faculty were encouraged to explore a wide range of basic and clinical research topics, from logic and games theory to molecular biology to memory research to neuroplasticity.
While this approach mirrored the complexity of the brain itself, it proved a difficult model to sustain, resulting in an organization one faculty remembered as “rather disjointed because of its very breadth.”
In response, greater effort was devoted to making the MHRI a more focused and cohesive unit, concentrating more intentionally on the interface of neurobiology and psychiatry. Recruiting and connecting the right mix of basic and clinical researchers to support this strategy would be a primary goal over the next two decades.