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More About Our Mission

Our Approach is to...

  • Understand principles of nervous system physiology
  • Leverage these principles of neuroscience to understand disease mechanisms
  • Accelerate treatments
  • Educate future generations of academic leaders and medical practitioners
  • Impact patient care
  • Reach out and educate the public of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond

This is being accomplished by ...

1. Accelerating  bottom to top neuroscience

The NeuroNexus Institute promotes an environment that accelerates bottom to top neuroscience, where basic neuroscientists, clinically curious neuroscientists, and clinicians engage with one another on a regular basis  to brainstorm problems about the brain.  In turn, this synergizes our considerable strengths in basic and translational neuroscience to advance the knowledge of the healthy brain, to ascertain the processes that go awry during neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, and to design innovative therapies for these conditions.

2. Forming natural connections between basic and translational neuroscientists

The NeuroNexus Institute celebrates the fundamentally different strategies employed by basic neuroscientists, whose goal is to understand how the brain works, and translational neuroscientists, whose purpose is to decipher the processes that go awry during disease. Our philosophy is that by bolstering a natural cross-talk between these different strategies to view the brain, we will exponentially accelerate our understanding of the healthy brain, the development of therapies to treat nervous system disorders, and ultimately promote brain wellness.

3. Uniting research groups around common themes

The NeuroNexus Institute supports the integration of research groups focused on common areas of strength at UMass Chan Medical School, including brain function and plasticity, neurogenetics, neurodegenerative disorders, traumatic brain injury, addiction, and psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, to enhance research depth, improve the ability to design effective therapies, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

4. Having an integrative strategy to understand the brain

Neuroscience spans almost any biomedical area, from cancer, to diabetes, to obesity, to immunity. Thus, a strong philosophy at the NeuroNexus Institute is the facilitation of pathways of interdisciplinary collaboration. Neuroscientists at the Institute reach out beyond the fiel of neuroscience in order to apply the best methodology to a given problem in the healthy or diseased brain.

5. Education

NeuroNexus Institute faculty members promote neuroscience education through didactic teaching in medical school and graduate school classes, hosting summer high school and undergraduate students in their research labs, mentoring graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and medical residents and interns.  Our students participate in outreach activities, and the NNI, together with participating departments, sponsors the Central Massachusetts Brain Bee.

6. Forming partnerships with internal and external stakeholders

The NeuroNexus Institute promotes the development of a culture of partnership with the Commonwealth, philanthropic and corporate partners to advance our understanding of the brain and to promote brain awareness and wellness.

7. Engage the greater community throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond

The NeuroNexus Institute strives to engage the greater community, scientific and lay, through outreach programs and service, with the goal of enhancing our standing with, and support by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.