Sunday, February 20, 2011: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
146A (Washington Convention Center )Neuroscience is not a single “science,” but is a multidisciplinary enterprise including diverse fields and multiple funding organizations (e.g., National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, and the private sector). Recent breakthroughs in the disparate disciplines -- mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, molecular biology, psychology, neurology, and chemistry -- have laid the groundwork for a major leap forward by neuroscience as a whole. Understanding how the brain works would have transformational impacts on society. This understanding would help us better cope with aging and perhaps reverse or delay some of the worst impacts of advanced aging on the brain. It would change the way we approach education and learning and how we cope with learning disabilities and neurocognitive disorders. Recent neuroscience advances, combined with revolutionary new tools and techniques, now position the field to be able to approach an array of the most important, over-arching basic and clinical neuroscience questions. The purpose of this session is to examine the framework of a potential Grand Challenges Initiative, which would be a more integrated, large-scale research program that would spark public excitement and attract substantial funding to move the field ahead in a quantum leap, and ultimately reduce the burden of disorders of the nervous system. Presentations will examine how to improve alignment between all relevant disciplines and begin to identify the iterative steps in the relevant disciplines needed to move forward.
Bruce Altevogt, Institute of Medicine
Story Landis, National Institutes of Health
Alan Leshner, AAAS/Science