CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute (UCNI) today announced a new Center of Excellence, the UC Neurobiology Research Center, designed to provide a focal point for basic, discovery-based neuroscience.
The announcement was made by UCNI Director Joseph Broderick, MD, a professor in the UC Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine and UC Health neurologist, who said creation of the center highlights the importance of discovery to UCNI’s mission of education, research and treatment.
"Part of the UC Neurobiology Research Center’s vision will be to serve as a focal point for integration of clinical and basic science research programs,” Broderick said.
The center, under the direction of James Herman, PhD, a professor in the UC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, becomes the 11th center within UCNI, one of four institutes of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health. Earlier this month, the UC Neuromuscular Center became UCNI’s 10th center. UCNI also includes three programs.
"The goal of the UC Neurobiology Research Center will be to create and nurture relationships between basic and clinical research, with a translational (bench to bedside) emphasis,” Herman said. "This will involve collaborations between basic and clinical researchers that exist within the other centers of UCNI. This center is also a focal point for recruitment of new neuroscientists at the University of Cincinnati as well as further enhancement of an already strong Neuroscience Graduate Training Program, a focal point of investment by the UC2019 program.”
Strong collaborative relationships already exist in several centers, Herman said, including the Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders where basic science researchers such as Herman and Kim Seroogy, PhD, collaborate with clinicians such as Fredy Revilla, MD, and Alberto Espay, MD. The goal would be to foster even more collaborations, extending them to fundraising and awareness in addition to research.
"Additionally, the center will seek to fund pilot projects that have potential for extramural funding and promote career growth for our faculty,” Herman said.
Broderick said the center will be launched with four to six new pilot grants of $25,000 each. UC faculty and senior fellows will compete for the grants, which will emphasize collaboration between basic researchers and clinicians.
"The pilot grant program is open to all UC faculty and senior fellows, with the goal of creating research teams that can submit successful grant programs to the National Institutes of Health,” Broderick said.
"We’re trying to create teams that can help move forward not only clinical science but also basic science in parallel so that what we’re doing here at UCNI is not only treating patients but also creating new opportunities for cures—finding out what the underlying mechanisms of disease are and using that information to move forward to next steps for finding cures and treatments.”