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What is the Brain Initiative?

October 1, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or “BRAIN Initiative,” is a major research program recently announced by the National Institute of Health.

The human brain is unique among animals for its size and for the cognitive power that it produces; it is the most remarkable trait that humans possess. The brain is not just the most complex organ in the human body – in fact, it is the most complex structure in the known universe. It has been a subject of study for thousands of years, but we have barely begun to glimpse how it works. This is particularly true when we compare the brain to other organs, like the heart, lungs or kidney. Scientists have a very good understanding of how these organs work, and are able to use this knowledge as a framework for understanding problems that can occur and how to fix them. This is not true of the brain.

Neurological and psychological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, addiction, and traumatic brain injury affect tens of millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions of people worldwide. These medical disorders are all located in the brain. Although great strides have been made in understanding and treating many of these conditions, scientists and doctors will have a much better chance of dealing with these disorders when they better understand how the brain functions.

The BRAIN Initiative aims to make a big push in understanding the structure and function of the human brain. It has been compared to the Human Genome Project for its scope and the importance of what it offers. This program, presented in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and the Chicago Society for Neuroscience, will help bring this research initiative into the public eye and raise awareness of this vital research.

Northwestern University, Hughes Auditorium

303 E. Superior Street

60611 Chicago , IL

Panelists include:

Dr. John Maunsell, PhD, is the Alfred D Lasker Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as the Director of the Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior.

Dr. Bobby Kasthuri, MD, DPhil, is a Neuroscience Researcher at Argonne National Labs and an Assistant Professor (adjunct) in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Tom Macek, PhD, PharmD, is a Scientific Director of Clinical Sciences CNS at Takeda Development Center Americas.

Moderator: Norm Peterson is the Director of Government Relations at Argonne National Laboratory.


Event is free and open to the public but online registration HERE is requested.

Discounted parking is available to the first 50 attendees, at the 202 E Huron parking garage. Ask at the C2ST registration table, and you can purchase a ticket to exit the garage at a discounted rate.

This program is supported by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust, and presented in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and the Chicago Society for Neuroscience.



October 1, 2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Northwestern Memorial Hospital Feinberg Pavilion
251 E. Huron St. 3rd Floor Conference Center
Chicago, IL 60611 United States


Chicago Council on Science and Technology
312 567-5835


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