Neural Systems Institute @Rockefeller

The Kavli Neural Systems Institute (Kavli NSI) at The Rockefeller University will promote interdisciplinary research and learn to tackle the biggest questions in neuroscience through high-risk, high-reward projects and the development of new research technologies.

“Kavli’s investment in neuroscience at Rockefeller will enable us to create and share new research approaches and laboratory technologies to capture the possibilities of neuroscience from the micro to the macro level,” said Rockefeller President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD.

Rockefeller University

Centered around 76 cutting-edge laboratories working in a broad range of fields, The Rockefeller University fosters a collaborative research environment for its faculty and provides an innovative educational experience for its outstanding graduate students and postdoc researchers.

To help reduce artificial barriers and provide its investigators with the greatest degree of freedom, Rockefeller does not have academic departments. As a result, the university is not constrained to perform research in any particular field and can recruit the most accomplished and gifted investigators across a wide spectrum of disciplines in the sciences.

Charles Gilbert, MD/PhD – Rockefeller

Arthur and Janet Ross Professor, Laboratory of Neurobiology

Dr. Gilbert studies the mechanisms underlying visual perception, including the specific role of the brain’s primary visual cortex in analyzing visual images and in perceptual learning. To this end, his laboratory investigates the circuitry of the brain and how the interactions between groups of neurons contribute to perception, learning and memory.

A circuit theory of cortical function

Principal Investigator: Charles Gilbert, Rockefeller Unviersity
Title: A circuit theory of cortical function
BRAIN Category: Neuroengineering and Brain-inspired concepts and design (#1532591)

This project aims to develop and test a new conceptual framework for understanding brain function, and informing biologically based artificial intelligence systems. The underlying theory holds that the properties of any neuron and any cortical area are not fixed but undergo state changes with changing perceptual task, expectation and attention.

The Dynamic Brain – Charles Gilbert

Dr. Charles Gilbert of The Rockefeller University delivers the annual Scolnick Prize Lecture on Friday, March 20, 2015. Charles Gilbert has been a pioneer in understanding the function of visual cortex. His work addresses fundamental questions about visual perception, and has also provided important insights into how the brain recovers from injury and degenerative disease.

Video Published April 1, 2015 by McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT

Remote regulation of neural activity

Principal Investigator: Sarah Stanley
Rockefeller University
Title: "Remote regulation of neural activity"
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

The Stanley team will focus on the development of tools to instantly and precisely target cell activity deep in the brain using radio waves, nanoparticles and genetically modified viruses.

Cori Bargmann, PhD – Rockefeller

Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at Rockefeller University and head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior
Co-chair of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) and At large member of the Multi-Council Working Group (WCWG) for the BRAIN Initiative

Cori Bargmann was awarded the Kavli Prizein 2012 and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2013. Cori is known for her work on the behavior in the C. elegans, particularly olfaction in the worm.

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics – Rockefeller

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey M. Friedman
Senior Research Associate: Sarah Stanley
Rockefeller University

The application of modern methods in genetics has led to the identification of a new hormone, leptin, that regulates body weight. Leptin is an adipose tissue hormone that interacts with receptors in the brain to regulate food intake, energy expenditure and other neuroendocrine systems. The molecular mechanisms of leptin in the brain are under investigation. These studies are being conducted in parallel with efforts to identify obesity genes in the human.

Sarah Stanley, PhD – Rockefeller

Senior Research Associate , Rockefeller University and Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

The technology Stanley is developing would enable researchers to manipulate the activity of neurons, as well as other cell types, in freely moving animals in order to better understand what these cells do. Staley's new nanoparticle-based technique has a unique combination of features that may enable new types of experimentation.

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