Carnegie Mellon ‘BrainHub’

The Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) BrainHub initiative spans across CMU’s colleges and schools, involving nearly 50 faculty and over 150 scientists.

A major facet of this initiative is increasing collaboration among faculty from disciplines such as computer science and engineering with those taking biological and behavioral approaches to neuroscience. Linking brain science to behavior via the application of machine learning, statistics, and computational modeling will be a hallmark of CMU’s efforts, along with commercialization of the new technologies and applications.

 Carnegie Mellon BrainHub


Web Information

Website:  cmu.edu/research/brain/

Contact Information

Email: gbalbier@andrew.cmu.edu
Phone: 412-268-9718
Address: Brain Hub
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Organization

Executive Director: Gerry Balbier
Facutly Experts


 

Background

The BRAIN Initiative Fact Sheet 9/30/14

The Carnegie Mellon University is announcing a $40 million commitment to support the goals of the BRAIN Initiative:

The Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) BrainHub initiative spans across CMU’s colleges and schools, involving nearly 50 faculty and over 150 scientists. A major facet of this initiative is increasing collaboration among faculty from disciplines such as computer science and engineering with those taking biological and behavioral approaches to neuroscience. Linking brain science to behavior via the application of machine learning, statistics, and computational modeling will be a hallmark of CMU’s efforts, along with commercialization of the new technologies and applications. CMU plans to commit more than $40 million over the next five years to support several activities in the initiative, including 8 to 10 faculty positions, 10 endowed graduate fellowships, at least 6 new postdoctoral fellowships, $2 million in new seed funding, and support for an executive director position for this initiative. CMU is also partnering with institutions across the globe including the Indian Institute of Science, Sun Yat-sen University in China, and partners in Europe to create and analyze large data sets, and to train students and postdocs in computational approaches to brain science.

CMU Launches BrainHub℠

CMU News 8/26/14

Director of the National Institute of Mental Health Tom Insel* addressed a standing-room-only audience on the Pittsburgh campus recently as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s BrainHub℠ launch.

“The world has discovered the brain. This is a hot topic, about which the public has become really intrigued,” he said.

CMU BrainHub℠ is a new initiative that focuses on understanding the human brain — one of the grand challenges of the 21st century.

University President Subra Suresh welcomed Insel and members of a distinguished panel comprised of CMU faculty and research partners from the University of Warwick in the U.K., and Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) in China. He explained why CMU is the right place for understanding how the brain works.

“CMU is home to some of the world’s top scientists investigating brain function and human behavior,” President Suresh said. “We also are home to the pre-eminent computer science program in the country and a world-class engineering school. By combining these areas of expertise, along with CMU’s renowned talents in data sciences, the science of learning, policy and cybersecurity, we will enable innovative computational approaches to understanding brain function and dysfunction, as well as facilitate the development of tools to unravel the complexities of the human mind.”

CMU scientists and their global partners including Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China; the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore; and Oxford University and the University of Warwick, U.K., will work together, along with CMU’s long-time collaborators from the University of Pittsburgh, to develop innovative computational and technological tools for studying the links between brain and behavior, enabling new insights into topics such as cognition, learning and perception, as well as shedding light on brain disorders such as autism and Parkinson’s disease.

“This dynamic partnership, bringing together expertise from across CMU and global universities, government and corporate sponsors, will allow us to deepen our understanding of how the brain performs the computations that underlie the functions that we take for granted in our daily life — how we see and hear, learn, remember and move,” said Nathan Urban, CMU interim provost.

CMU Professor Michael Tarr, head of Psychology, moderated the discussion.

Along with Insel, the panel included:

  • Theodoros N. Arvanitis, professor of e-Health Innovation and head of research at the Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, at the University of Warwick
  • Alison Barth, CMU professor of biological sciences
  • Marlene Behrmann, the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at CMU, and co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
  • Dr. Mengfeng Li, vice president of SYSU, the Cheong-Kung Professor of Medicine and dean of the SYSU Zhongshan School of Medicine
  • Tom Mitchell, the E. Fredkin University Professor and chair of the Machine Learning Department at CMU

Over the next five years, BrainHub and CMU’s efforts in brain science will be supported by initial commitments totaling about $75 million. Leveraging funding from multiple sources — existing funding, as well as new funding and in-kind contributions from philanthropic foundations including the Hillman Foundation, R.K. Mellon Foundation and Dietrich Foundation; Kris Gopalakrishnan, (co-founder of Infosys); institutional partners; U.S. federal and local government; and internal CMU commitments from colleges and schools — CMU will focus concerted efforts on understanding the brain.


Research Areas

Sharing the World’s Brain Research Data

Researchers around the world are collecting vast amounts of data from the brain at a rapid pace. We believe that much can be learned by combining the global collection of data. We are creating new tools that will index, aggregate and share this global data, making it accessible in powerful new ways. Faculty experts in this area »

Mapping & Exploring the Interconnectivity of the Brain and Behavior

The brain is made up of billions of neurons, which make billions of connections to communicate information. While scientists have been actively mapping the functions of different areas of the brain, we believe the most important discoveries of the future will lie in understanding how these regions interact. We are inventing technologies that will allow us to explore these crucial connections. Faculty experts in this area »

Teaching the Brain How to Change Itself

Carnegie Mellon studies have shown that it is possible for the brain to change – to teach itself to act or behave differently. We are continuing to investigate this to uncover how neural interventions can help people with developmental disorders and neurological conditions. Faculty experts in this area »


 

Global Partners

Partners in the United States and around the world are joining Carnegie Mellon University in this brain research initiative.

A sampling of our most recent supporters and affiliates:

Indian Institute of ScienceIndian Institute of Science, India
IIsC is partnering with Carnegie Mellon after recently launching their own brain science initiative.


University of Pittsburgh sealUniversity of Oxford, United Kingdom
Oxford joins CMU’s brain research effort through their International Brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab (IBMTL).


University of Pittsburgh sealUniversity of Pittsburgh, United States
The University of Pittsburgh, with significant strengths in basic and clinical neuroscience, co-operates the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition with CMU.


Sun Yat-sen University SealSun Yat-sen University, China
Sun Yat-sen joins CMU in brain research endeavors, bringing its expertise on neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, through its medical school.


University of Warwick logoUniversity of Warwick, United Kingdom
With a concentrated expertise in the field of digital health, University of Warwick recently announced a $10 million research and education collaboration with CMU.

With gratitude for new and ongoing support of BrainHub from the following:

  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • The Dietrich Foundation
  • Kris Gopalakrishnan
  • Henry L. Hillman
  • James S. McDonnell Foundation
  • McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience
  • Richard King Mellon Foundation
  • Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
  • Simons Foundation

 

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