Penn Receives $16 Million Gift to Launch New Initiative Focusing on the Neuroscience of Behavior

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Media Contact:Jessica Mikulski | jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-8369December 19, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - The Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania announces the establishment of the Neuroscience of Behavior Initiative.  This new initiative, funded by an anonymous gift, will strengthen Penn programs in basic, translational, clinical, and population research into the areas of addiction, depressive disorders, and neurodegenerative disease. The gift, totaling more than $16.3 million, is the largest to neuroscience at Penn Medicine, and among the largest individual gifts to medical research in the U.S. in 2011. The gift is the first phase of what is anticipated to be a long-term investment by the donors in this initiative.

The Neuroscience of Behavior Initiative will build on previous groundbreaking work in mental and neurological research and care at Penn Medicine by uniting researchers, physicians, educators, and policy makers to improve understanding, treatments, and prevention for brain and behavioral disorders. The goal of this interdisciplinary effort is to develop new science, and to translate existing science into improved clinical care for patients.

The new initiative will be led by Brian Strom, MD, MPH, chair and professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Penn, and vice dean for Institutional Affairs. Dr. Strom is a world-renowned epidemiologist, as well as an expert in preventive medicine and public health. He has made many significant contributions as a researcher and clinician in applying epidemiologic methods to the study of drug use and effects.

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