about: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute?
The BSi was established with an ambitious agenda: To develop new multidisciplinary research teams; create cutting edge-research cores for use by all brain researchers at Hopkins; and foster translation of discoveries to treatments of brain diseases, in part by improving our ability to partner with industry and biotechnology.  Education, training and outreach are also important goals for the BSi, bringing multiple constituencies together to share and learn.

The goals listed are broad. What has the BSi accomplished since its inception?
The BSi has had a very productive beginning. Since its official launch in Febuary 2007 the BSi has awareded over $13 million to core centers and research areas. Awards have been given to over 20 Departments. The first BSi funded project was in Neurogenetics.  Since then the BSi has also funded work in New Approaches to Perception and Cognition, Regeneration and Repair in the Nervous System, Schizophrenia, The NeuroTranslational Program and Sustaining Innovation in Neuroscience Grants. To date, twenty-eight programs have been funded. Other funds have contributed to the purchase of essential equipment such as the 7 Tesla MRI Magnet in the Kirby Center for the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the unique Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator. Another focus towards achieving overarching BSi goals has been an investment in core resources including Neuro-Epigenetics and the Center for Brain Imaging.

Multidisciplinary working groups are continuing to assess research needs in new areas including pain, synaptic transmission, cognition and cognitive disorders, blood brain barrier and cerebral vasculature, and others.

The BSi is bringing industry representatives to Hopkins to educate them about the scope of basic and clinical neuroscience in the University. An agreement with Biogen-Idec resulted from these efforts. The goals of the agreement are to allow true partnering on development of Hopkins ideas, with easy and open communication on joint projects between Hopkins labs and the company.

How is the BSi organized?
The BSi is designed to bring together and support neurosciences across JHU campuses, including the Schools of Medicine, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Education, Public Health, the Applied Physics Laboratory, and others. The BSi is an Institute within the School of Medicine. Its Director reports to the Dean through the Vice Dean for Faculty, Janice Clements, Ph.D. (Comparative Medicine and Neurology), the Director is Jeffrey Rothstein, M.D., Ph.D. (Neurology and Neuroscience), and the Co-Director is Richard Huganir, Ph.D. (Neuroscience and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute).

Will the BSi recruit new faculty, and will there be primary appointments in the BSi?
Primary appointments will be in the Departments. The BSi may participate in recruiting new faculty to specific multidisciplinary programs and research cores, but the recruits will always have an appointment in a Hopkins Department.

How does the BSi differ from the Mind-Brain Institute? From the Department of Psychology and Brain Science?
The Krieger Mind/Brain Institute was conceived by Vernon Mountcastle and is housed in the School of Arts and Sciences in Krieger Hall on the Homewood campus. Its special focus is on systems neurophysiology. Similarly, the Department of Psychology and Brain Science is a department within the School of Arts and Sciences. The BSi is housed in the School of Medicine and is a multidisciplinary Institute that acts as an umbrella supporting the full range of neuroscience programs at Johns Hopkins.

How can I hear more about BSi activities and get involved?
We have developed several tools to foster communication. This website will be a primary means of announcing new efforts and activities.

The formation of new working groups is encouraged by the BSi. Additionally, specific Call For Proposal award announcements are posted on the website and through inter-institutional communications.

The BSi also hosts a series of educational and outreach events throughout the year. All Hopkins students, faculty and staff are welcome.  An educational enrichment program for medical, graduate and undergraduate students called Brain Night is held monthly. These evenings bring faculty together with medical, graduate and undergraduate students interested in the neurosciences, for supper and getting acquainted, and for short presentations on topics of broad interest. A series of mini symposia is also held on specific topics.  

How can I contact the BSi?
The BSi offices are located in the John G. Rangos, Sr. Building, Room 270, 2nd Floor, 855 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21205

Marylisa Dean Price is the Administrator. She can be reached at 410-955-8570 or mlprice@jhmi.edu.  Barbara Smith is the Programs and Communications Administrative Manager. She can be reached at 410-955-4504 or bsmith13@jhmi.edu

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