about: Mission

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Brain Science Institute’s mission is to solve fundamental questions about brain development and function and to use these insights to understand the mechanisms of brain disease. This new knowledge will provide the catalyst for the facilitation and development of effective therapies.

The BSi achieves this work by bringing together brain scientists and others from across Johns Hopkins University’s schools and campuses. The following outlines several BSi strategic initiatives in support of its mission:
• Formation of interdisciplinary research teams and working groups
• Cross-campus award funding
• University-wide new models of training
• Technology transfer and strategic partnerships
• Educational and outreach programs
• Create effective translation of discovery into disease treatment
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Brain Science Institute (BSi) brings together both basic and clinical neuroscientists from across the Johns Hopkins campuses. The BSi represent one of the largest and most diverse groups in the University. Scattered within at least 17 different departments and geographically widely dispersed, campus wide there are more than 540 faculty members are studying neurosciences with over $120M in research support annually.  Neuroscience researchers are in many schools throughout the Institution, including the School of Medicine, the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Applied Physics Laboratory, Kennedy Kreiger Institute and the School of Education.
The quality of the investigators is commensurate with the size of the neuroscience research programs. The senior faculty include some of the most productive and highly cited neuroscientists in the world.  For example, of the top 25 neuroscientists by citation over the past 10 years, four are at Johns Hopkins. Our neuroscientists are well represented in the National Academy of Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine, and they hold or have held key leadership positions in the major neuroscience organizations, including the Presidencies of the Society for Neuroscience and the American Neurological Association. At least as impressive as the senior faculty is the quality of the junior faculty, representing tomorrow’s leaders in neuroscience. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine training and clinical programs are consistently ranked within the top three in the nation by groups such as US News and World Report.

The programs of today are built on a tradition of excellence in the brain sciences that goes back to the founding of Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Hospitals in the 1880s.  Hopkins’ first physician-in-chief, Sir William Osler, was fascinated by the brain and its diseases, and encouraged the development of neurosciences within the Institution.  The pioneering neuropsychiatrist, Adolf Meyer, brought the study of the brain as a formal discipline to the Institution, and developed one of the first psychiatry departments.  Neurosurgery developed as a specialty at Johns Hopkins, under the direction of the seminal leaders Harvey Cushing, Walter Dandy, A. Earl Walker, and Donlin Long.  Key figures in the development of basic neurosciences included David Bodian in neuroanatomy, Vernon Mountcastle in neurophysiology and perception, and Solomon Snyder in neuropharmacology and neuroscience. Neurology has flowered under the first two leaders of the Neurology Department, Guy McKhann and Richard Johnson. Similarly, two of the most influential leaders in Child Neurology and Rehabilitation, Drs. Hugo Moser and Gary Goldstein, directed the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
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