Penn pours money into neuroscience

MRI of brain .

Penn has neuroscience on the brain.

A new $50 million contribution from the Health System will allow the University to endow five new Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professorships in neuroscience and support interdisciplinary neuroscience initiatives involving the School of Medicine and other schools across the University.

The $50 million adds to the Health System’s existing funding for new centers and institutes, which is supporting the construction of a new research building and aiding faculty recruitment in the School of Medicine.

PIK professorships, a University-wide initiative launched by President Amy Gutmann in 2005, are awarded to exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify integration of knowledge across different fields.

“This $50 million contribution, coupled with Penn’s collaborative cross-school team approach, helps empower Penn to develop the knowledge needed to improve our understanding of the neural basis of behavior, including human cognition and emotion and ultimately to improve the health and well being of people around the globe,” Gutmann says.

The new initiative adds to the many other exciting neuroscience initiatives currently underway or planned at Penn, including the dedicated neuroscience facilities in the Fisher Translational Research Center and a new Neural and Behavioral Sciences Building in the School of Arts and Sciences that will integrate research and education in psychology, biology and cognitive sciences. Penn has also enhanced the facilities for the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Center for Functional Neuroimaging, as well as added 18 faculty positions in the neurosciences since 2006.

“We are confident,” says Penn Provost Ron Daniels, “that the new Penn Integrates Knowledge Neuroscience Initiative will allow Penn to continue to lead the life-sciences revolution by empowering our world-class faculty and investigators to take giant strides toward improving the health and well being of people around the globe.”

The University has been a world leader in neuroscience research since 1953, when it founded the Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences—the nation’s first university institute dedicated to neuroscience research. Today, Penn supports one of the world’s leading neuroscience communities that includes 182 faculty from 32 departments across six schools, as well as the Biological Basis of Behavior undergraduate program and a Neuroscience Graduate Group.

Originally published Oct. 2, 2008

Originally published on October 2, 2008