The Kavli Foundation and its university partners are devoting more than $100 million to enhance research that is focused on increasing understanding of the brain and brain-related disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

“We are delighted to announce this major commitment to promoting a sustained interdisciplinary effort to solve the mysteries of the brain,” said Rockell N. Hankin, chairman of the board of directors at The Kavli Foundation. “By transcending the traditional boundaries of research, the new neuroscience institutes will make breakthrough discoveries possible.”

Three new Kavli neuroscience institutes at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), The Rockefeller University, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) will become part of an international network of seven Kavli Institutes carrying out fundamental research in neuroscience, and a broader network of 20 Kavli Institutes dedicated to astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics.

The new funding will support research that advances the national Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, a public and private collaboration launched by President Obama in April 2013.

The three new institutes are the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute at JHU, the Kavli Neural Systems Institute at The Rockefeller University, and the Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience at UCSF.

Each of the Institutes will receive a $20 million endowment supported equally by their universities and the Foundation, along with start-up funding. The Foundation is also partnering with four other universities to build their Kavli Institute endowments further. These Institutes are at Columbia University, the University of California, San Diego, Yale University, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Coinciding with President Obama’s announcement, The Kavli Foundation previously pledged to spend $40 million in support of basic neuroscience research.

Commenting on the new investment, Robert W. Conn, president and CEO of The Kavli Foundation said in a statement, “The establishment of three new institutes, along with the added investment in our existing neuroscience institutes, will further empower great scientists to help write the next chapter in neuroscience.”

The BRAIN Initiative is supported by federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and private partners such as The Kavli Foundation.

“The President launched the BRAIN Initiative to help unlock the mysteries of the brain, to improve our treatment of conditions like Alzheimer’s and autism, and to deepen our understanding of how we think, learn, and remember. The Kavli Foundation is responding to the President’s call to action by making investments to advance the goals of the BRAIN Initiative. I hope this spurs other private, philanthropic, and academic institutions to support this important initiative,” said John P. Holdren, Ph.D., assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in a press statement.


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