UVA is nationally known in the field of neuroimmunology thanks to groundbreaking discoveries, such as last year’s study that revealed connections between the immune system and the brain. Now, the University is taking another step toward a better understanding of the brain through its newest initiative: the UVA Brain Institute.
“The neuroscience community at UVA has been interested in greater cross-Grounds collaboration for several years,” says Jaideep Kapur, professor of neuroscience and neurology and the newly appointed director of the institute.
As the field of neuroscience has grown at UVA, Kapur says, researchers and physicians wanted to incorporate minds from other parts of the University, including the Engineering School, Curry School, the College, the Law School and the Data Science Institute. The Brain Institute, which will begin in the fall, was chosen as the University’s second cross-Grounds institute as part of President Sullivan’s Cornerstone Plan. The Board of Visitors also approved related faculty cluster hires.
By building collaborations across disciplines, UVA scientists hope to find new ways to treat and prevent brain disorders like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, autism, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury—all areas where the University has existing research and clinical strengths. “The Brain Institute will help to attract top scientists to UVA. We are not only making an institute—the University is making a commitment to neuroscience,” Kapur says.