White House and Hill Reps Single-minded on the Value of Neuroscience

This summer I joined with Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and more than 40 scientists, advocates, and business leaders at Philadelphia’s University City Science Center to discuss recent advances in neuroscience research. The meeting gave OSTP and the Congressman an opportunity to brief some of the Nation’s top brain researchers and thought leaders on Federal investments and initiatives in neuroscience and related areas, and the importance of public-private partnerships in advancing neuroscience exploration.

The Obama Administration is committed to harnessing science to understand the underpinnings of brain diseases, improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic injuries to the brain, and apply the latest discoveries about the neuroscience of teaching, learning, and development in educational settings across the country. In April, for example, the President announced the launch of the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which is focusing in part on developing better technologies and tools to accelerate progress in this important domain.

The Administration has had a longstanding interest in neuroscience. At the Philadelphia meeting, I provided an overview of a series of related initiatives and activities in areas such as neurodegenerative disease, mental health, behavioral science, and neuroethics. Such efforts would be difficult indeed without the strong support of leaders like Rep. Fattah, who worked closely with OSTP in 2011 to establish the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience, which coordinates research among more than a dozen agencies under the National Science and Technology Council. For a more detailed description of the recent Philadelphia meeting, click here.

Philip Rubin is Principal Assistant Director for Science at OSTP


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