Neuroscience is a young and exciting field that addresses one of the great challenges of modern science—understanding how the brain gives rise to ideas, emotions, perceptions, motivations, actions and consciousness. This knowledge is not only intrinsically fascinating but is key for treating and preventing brain disorders, which present a staggering burden on humankind.
The University of Michigan has a distinguished history in this field. The word "Neuroscience" was coined at Michigan by Dr. Ralph Gerard, the founding president of the Society for Neuroscience. Since then, the Michigan neuroscience community has made innumerable seminal contributions to the field. The depth and breadth of neuroscience research and training at Michigan can currently be found in seven different schools and colleges, 27 departments, and 15 institutes and centers. The Neuroscience Graduate Program has more than 150 faculty members, representing departments across the university's various schools and colleges. The distribution of our expertise is a great strength, but it also dilutes our cohesion and visibility.
How do we create new synergies, enable great discoveries and enhance the visibility and impact of Michigan Neuroscience?
Neuroscience is highly interdisciplinary and requires approaches ranging from molecular mechanisms to behavioral and social analyses. It demands state of the art technologies, novel tools, computational, and imaging power. Increasingly, it requires the disruption of barriers to collaboration among research groups and disciplines. The UM, comprised of top-tier schools and colleges that span all levels of human knowledge, represents a unique setting for a powerful, far-reaching and collaborative campus-wide neuroscience initiative. Through the Michigan Neuroscience Institute (MNI), the University of Michigan seeks to create an integrated network that achieves synergy in the pursuit of addressing the most pressing questions in neuroscience at the foundational, translational, and clinical levels while educating the future leaders in the field. MNI will be a point of distinction in the next era of neuroscience.