Carnegie Mellon Receives $5 Million Gift for Neuroscience Initiative

By Ken Walters

Just weeks after the 2014 launch of a global initiative to leverage its unique strengths to impact brain research, Carnegie Mellon University received a major boost from renowned Pittsburgh philanthropist Henry L. Hillman in the form of a $5 million gift to support CMU’s neuroscience initiative.

Launched in September 2014, CMU established BrainHub, now known as the Neuroscience Institute, to bring together global strategic partners from the government, public, private and philanthropic sectors to develop innovative computational and technological approaches for studying the links between brain and behavior. This effort has lead to new insights into topics such as cognition, learning and perception, and continues to shed light on brain disorders such as autism and Parkinson’s disease. The Neuroscience Institute leverages CMU’s well-known interdisciplinary culture, bringing together computer science, humanities, science, engineering, business, public policy and the arts to conduct research on the brain and the related fields of data science and the science of learning.

The Hillman gift provided endowment funds to help support presidential graduate fellowships in areas broadly connected to brain research. It also provided seed grants, through CMU’s ProSEED program, for innovative research projects that connect faculty from disciplines across CMU. The gift helps support the training of the next generation of brain researchers on a global scale.

Carnegie Mellon researchers are recognized for their expertise in areas that promise to pave new avenues for methods to measure and analyze both brain activity and behavior and then to link these domains through the application of cutting-edge computational tools. CMU’s neuroscience efforts also promote the dissemination and commercialization of the most promising of these advances so that they are widely used, furthering brain research, policies and practices across the globe.

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