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Spring 2012 BSi E-Newsletter

BSi E-Newsletter


This publication highlights events, opportunities, and accomplishments from the BSi community. 


Drug Discovery in Academia Conference

On October 18-19, 2011 BSi hosted scientists, administrators, and entrepreneurs for an un-precedented discussion of “The New Paradigm for Drug Discovery.” The conference featured presenters from recently established academic drug discovery centers as well as prominent pharmaceutical companies, disease foundations, and venture capital firms. Discussion centered on outlining best practices and guidelines for emerging partnerships between academia and industry. Read the full article.

Academic Drug Discovery Consortium

Following a proposal by BSi leadership, drug discovery scientists from the BSi and JHU, Vanderbilt, Harvard, UCSF, and UNC have agreed to organize an Academic Drug Discovery Consortium (ADDC). The consortium will facilitate the exchange of technical expertise, educational materials and guidance for emerging drug discovery initiatives, and will bolster advocacy to funding agencies. A central repository website will catalogue U.S. drug discovery programs, academia-pharma collaborations, job postings, and academic projects available for licensing. Read the full article

JHU to Collaborate with Eisai

Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company Eisai is the newest addition to the BSi’s roster of industry partners. Brain-based targets are a major focus for Eisai and cutting-edge research at Hopkins routinely identifies potentially relevant therapeutic targets for a number of brain conditions. Under this unique new agreement, Eisai will use assays developed and validated by BSi’s Neuro- Translational program to execute high-throughput screening to identify compounds that interact with Hopkins-identified therapeutic targets. Eisai is also equipped to execute the studies necessary to move promising targets toward FDA approval. Read the full article


The SCCD program plans to recruit 1-2 new faculty members in 2012 and is currently interviewing candidates. Danny O’Conner, a research specialist at the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus was hired by the program last year and will begin setting up his lab at the BSi beginning this June. O’Connor’s research focuses on cortical circuits underlying sensory perception.


After review by a panel of external and internal investigators, the BSi awarded funding to three research proposals aimed at elucidating the “Mechanisms Underlying Acute and Chronic Pain” and five proposals in Neurotranslational Research. Funding awards for Neurotranslational Research are ongoing with proposals being accepted each June and funding decisions announced in the fall. The BSi is currently reviewing all applications submitted for research in the area of “Traumatic Brain Injury: Mechanisms and Treatment”.


The BSi has announced the formation of three new working groups aimed at fostering research progress in: Autism, the Blood Brain Barrier, and Hearing/Sound/Music. These meetings will bring together Hopkins researchers, with interest in these areas, to exchange ideas and explore potential interdisciplinary collaborations. Working groups for Pain, Neural Regeneration, and Traumatic Brain Injury continue to meet on a regular basis.
View upcoming working group meetings



Takashi Tsukamoto, Ph.D.

Dr. Tsukamoto is the Director of Chemistry and Intellectual Property for the Brain Science Institute NeuroTranslational Program. He and his team of chemists play a critical role in BSi’s drug discovery initiatives by designing and synthesizing compounds to interact with therapeutic targets identified by Hopkins researchers. Takashi also teaches a graduate course in Drug Discovery and regularly delivers interactive chemistry demonstrations at Baltimore area elementary and middle schools. Read the full profile


2012 Progess ReportThe BSi recently published its second Progress Report outlining new programs and featuring a range of initiatives conducted over the last 18 months.  If you would like to receive a copy please contact Barbara Smith at or view the report online (pdf).


Science of TouchOn March 4th and 5th, 2012, the BSi and the Walters Art Museum teamed up to explore the science behind tactile perception and the implications this has for the enjoyment of sculpture. The event included a public lecture and exhibition (which runs through April 15th) at the Walters Museum as well as a symposium with presentations from cognitive neuroscientists, art historians, museum curators and more. Read the full article.


$100 award for beautiful brains! The BSi is accepting submissions of aesthetically pleasing images from your CNS research. Any CNS subject matter is acceptable. Winners will be displayed in BSi offices and/or publications.
Send jpg submissions to



The BSi is continuing
the informal review process of all BSi
grants. Rita Sattler, Principal Scientist, is meeting with BSi funded investigators to learn more about their programs. This effort will help us better support individual efforts, leverage external funding and increase the visibility of BSi investments.



Mind Share is the BSi weekly update on working groups, call for proposals, lectures and programs. Let us know if want to recieve these weekly emails.


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