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Posted by on Mar 9, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

Beware of BVO – Bominated Vegetable Oil in Soft Drinks

Are you or your Children a Mountain Dew addict? Then know what you’re drinking! BVO is a toxic chemical that is banned in many countries because it competes with iodine for receptor sites in the body, which can lead to hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, and cancer. The main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous, corrosive chemical, linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss.

“There’s flame retardant in your Mountain Dew. That soda with the lime-green hue (and other citrus-flavored bubbly pops) won’t keep your insides fireproof, but it does contain brominated vegetable oil, a patented flame retardant for plastics that has been banned in foods throughout Europe and in Japan.

Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, which acts as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored soda drinks, is found in about 10 percent of sodas sold in the U.S.

“After a few extreme soda binges — not too far from what many gamers regularly consume – a few patients have needed medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders, all symptoms of overexposure to bromine,” according to a recent article in Environmental News.”

 

For more info:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/thyroid-health_b_472953.html

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Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

Researchers Describe First ‘Functional HIV Cure’ in an Infant, Benefits of Early Therapy

News Release: Johns’ Hopkins Children’s Center
Retrieved from: http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Researchers-Describe-First-Functional-HIV-Cure-in-an-Infant.aspx

MEDIA CONTACT: Ekaterina Pesheva
EMAIL: epeshev1@jhmi.edu
PHONE: (410) 502-9433

March 04, 2013

Deborah Persaud, M.D.

Deborah Persaud, M.D.

NEWS TIPS FROM THE 20th ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON RETROVIRUSES AND OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS (CROI), MARCH 3-6, ATLANTA

Two separate reports by a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School show that prompt initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-infected newborns not only curbs the formation of hard-to-treat viral reservoirs but, in doing so, may lead to so-called “functional cure.”

In contrast to a sterilizing cure — a complete eradication of all viral traces from the body — a functional cure occurs when viral presence is so minimal, it remains undetectable by standard clinical tests, yet discernible by ultrasensitive methods.

Results of both studies were presented March 3 and 4 at the 20th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta.

The first report describes the case of an infant who underwent remission of HIV infection after receiving ART within 30 hours of birth. Johns Hopkins virologist Deborah Persaud, M.D., lead author on the report, and University of Massachusetts Medical School immunologist Katherine Luzuriaga, M.D., headed a team of laboratory investigators. Pediatric HIV specialist Hannah Gay, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, provided treatment to the baby.

The child described in the current report was born to an HIV-infected mother and received combination antiretroviral treatment beginning 30 hours after birth. A series of tests showed progressively diminishing viral presence in the infant’s blood, until the virus reached undetectable levels 29 days after birth. The infant remained on antivirals until 18 months of age, at which point the child was lost to follow-up for a while and, the researchers say, stopped treatment. Ten months after discontinuation of treatment, the child underwent repeated standard blood tests, none of which detected HIV presence in the blood. A test for HIV-specific antibodies — the standard clinical indicator of HIV infection — also remained negative throughout.

Currently, high-risk newborns — those born to mothers with poorly controlled infections or whose mothers’ HIV status is discovered around the time of delivery — receive a combination of antivirals at prophylactic doses to prevent infection for six weeks and start therapeutic doses if and once infection is diagnosed. But this particular case, the investigators say, may change the current practice because it highlights the curative potential of very early ART.

Prompt antiviral therapy in newborns — one that begins within days of exposure — appears to work by halting the formation of viral hideouts, the dormant cells responsible for reigniting the infection in most HIV patients within weeks of stopping therapy, the researchers say. And because prompt antiviral therapy in a newborn may prevent such reservoirs from forming in the first place, it can help infants “clear” the virus and achieve-long term remission without lifelong treatment. This is precisely what they believe happened in this case.

The investigators say they deem the child described in the report “functionally cured,” a condition that occurs when a patient achieves and maintains long-term viral remission without lifelong treatment and standard clinical tests fail to detect HIV replication in the blood. Specialists say natural viral suppression without treatment is an exceedingly rare phenomenon observed in less than half a percent of HIV-infected adults, known as “elite controllers,” whose immune systems are able to rein in viral replication and keep the virus at clinically undetectable levels. HIV experts have long sought a way to help all HIV patients achieve such elite-controller status. The new case, the researchers say, may be that long-sought game-changer because it suggests prompt ART in newborns can do just that.

“We believe prompt ART may actually push infants into the elite responder category by preventing the formation of latent viral reservoirs — the sleeper cells responsible for reigniting the infection in the majority of patients once they stop taking antivirals,” Persaud says.

The investigators caution they don’t have enough data to recommend change right now to the current practice of treating high-risk infants with prophylactic doses instead of therapeutic ones, but this infant’s case provides the rationale to start proof-of-principle studies in all high-risk newborns.

“Our next step is to find out if this is a highly unusual response to very early antiretroviral therapy or something we can actually replicate in other high-risk newborns,” says Persaud, who is also the scientific chair of the HIV Cure Committee of the International Maternal, Pediatric, Adolescent Clinical AIDS Trials (IMPAACT) network, a consortium of researchers and institutions that was critical in spearheading the earliest clinical trials of mother-to-child transmission and early treatment of infants 15 years ago.

A single case of sterilizing cure also has been reported so far, the investigators note. It occurred in an HIV-positive man treated with a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. The bone marrow cells came from a donor with a rare genetic mutation of the white blood cells that renders some people resistant to HIV, a benefit that transferred to the recipient. However, HIV experts agree that such a complex treatment approach is neither feasible nor practical for the 33 million people worldwide infected with HIV.

“Complete viral eradication on a large scale is our long-term goal but, for now, remains out of reach, and our best chance may come from aggressive, timely and precisely targeted use of antiviral therapies in high-risk newborns as a way to achieve functional cure,” Luzuriaga says.

Despite the promise this approach holds for infected newborns, the researchers say preventing mother-to-child transmission remains the primary goal.

“Prevention really is the best cure, and we already have proven strategies that can prevent 98 percent of newborn infections by identifying and treating HIV-positive pregnant women,” says Gay, the pediatric HIV expert who provided treatment to the infant.

The second report, a small study of teens infected with HIV at birth, further clarifies the mechanism believed to be at play in the functionally cured infant described in the first report.

The report describes nine teenagers receiving antiretroviral therapy, but five of whom started treatment around 2 months of age. Ultrasensitive testing showed extremely low viral DNA levels in the blood of the five teens who received early ART, compared with the blood of the four teens who initiated ART later in childhood. Using sophisticated laboratory techniques, researchers were unable to detect dormant viral cells capable of replication from the early-treated teens. By contrast, such viral cells were readily cultured from the blood of the late-treated teens. Four of the five early-treated teens showed no HIV-specific antibodies on standard testing, but antibodies were detected in the blood of all four who started treatment late.

“Taken together, the findings of our two studies show that very early ART in infants prevents the development of long-term viral reservoirs, and in doing so, may put newborns on a path to long-term remission and on the road to a functional cure,” Persaud says.

“Our goal is to use these data to craft future therapeutic approaches that will ultimately spare children a lifetime of therapy,” Luzuriaga adds.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research and by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Related Information:
International Maternal, Pediatric, Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) Network
Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

Founded in 1912 as the children’s hospital of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center offers one of the most comprehensive pediatric medical programs in the country, with nearly 95,000 patient visits and some 9,000 admissions each year. Hopkins Children’s is consistently ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation. Hopkins Children’s is Maryland’s largest children’s hospital and the only state-designated Trauma Service and Burn Unit for pediatric patients. It has recognized Centers of Excellence in dozens of pediatric subspecialties, including allergy, cardiology, cystic fibrosis, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, pulmonary, and transplant. For more information, visit www.hopkinschildrens.org.

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Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Breaking News | 0 comments

Hopkins Researchers Describe First ‘Functional HIV Cure’ in an Infant

News Release: Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
Retrieved from: http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/newsDetail.aspx?id=12177

Hopkins Researchers Describe First ‘Functional HIV Cure’ in an Infant
MEDIA CONTACT: Ekaterina Pesheva
EMAIL: epeshev1@jhmi.edu
PHONE: (410) 502-9433

March 03, 2013

Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins' Children's Center in Baltimore

Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins’ Children’s Center in Baltimore

Pediatric HIV expert Deborah Persaud, M.D.

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School describe the first case of a so-called “functional cure” in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children.

A report on the case is being presented on Sunday, March 3, at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta. Johns Hopkins Children’s Center virologist Deborah Persaud, M.D., lead author on the report, and University of Massachusetts Medical School immunologist Katherine Luzuriaga, M.D., headed a team of laboratory investigators. Pediatric HIV specialist Hannah Gay, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center provided treatment to the baby.

The infant described in the report underwent remission of HIV infection after receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth. The investigators say the prompt administration of antiviral treatment likely led to this infant’s cure by halting the formation of hard-to-treat viral reservoirs — dormant cells responsible for reigniting the infection in most HIV patients within weeks of stopping therapy.

“Prompt antiviral therapy in newborns that begins within days of exposure may help infants clear the virus and achieve long-term remission without lifelong treatment by preventing such viral hideouts from forming in the first place,” Persaud says.

The researchers say they believe this is precisely what happened in the child described in the report. That infant is now deemed “functionally cured,” a condition that occurs when a patient achieves and maintains long-term viral remission without lifelong treatment and standard clinical tests fail to detect HIV replication in the blood.

In contrast to a sterilizing cure — a complete eradication of all viral traces from the body — a functional cure occurs when viral presence is so minimal, it remains undetectable by standard clinical tests, yet discernible by ultrasensitive methods.

The child described in the current report was born to an HIV-infected mother and received combination antiretroviral treatment beginning 30 hours after birth. A series of tests showed progressively diminishing viral presence in the infant’s blood, until it reached undetectable levels 29 days after birth. The infant remained on antivirals until 18 months of age, at which point the child was lost to follow-up for a while and, the researchers say, stopped treatment. Ten months after discontinuation of treatment, the child underwent repeated standard blood tests, none of which detected HIV presence in the blood. Test for HIV-specific antibodies — the standard clinical indicator of HIV infection — also remained negative throughout.

Currently, high-risk newborns — those born to mothers with poorly controlled infections or whose mothers’ HIV status is discovered around the time of delivery — receive a combination of antivirals at prophylactic doses to prevent infection for six weeks and start therapeutic doses if and once infection is diagnosed. But this particular case, the investigators say, may change the current practice because it highlights the curative potential of very early ART.

Specialists say natural viral suppression without treatment is an exceedingly rare phenomenon observed in less than half a percent of HIV-infected adults, known as “elite controllers,” whose immune systems are able to rein in viral replication and keep the virus at clinically undetectable levels. HIV experts have long sought a way to help all HIV patients achieve elite-controller status. The new case, the researchers say, may be that long-sought game-changer because it suggests prompt ART in newborns can do just that.

The investigators caution they don’t have enough data to recommend change right now to the current practice of treating high-risk infants with prophylactic, rather than therapeutic, doses but the infant’s case provides the rationale to start proof-of-principle studies in all high-risk newborns.

“Our next step is to find out if this is a highly unusual response to very early antiretroviral therapy or something we can actually replicate in other high-risk newborns,” says Persaud, who is also the scientific chair of the HIV Cure Committee of the International Maternal, Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical (IMPAACT) network, a consortium of researchers and institutions that was critical in spearheading the earliest clinical trials of mother-to-child transmission and early treatment of infants 15 years ago.

A single case of sterilizing cure has been reported so far, the investigators note. It occurred in an HIV-positive man treated with a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. The bone marrow cells came from a donor with a rare genetic mutation of the white blood cells that renders some people resistant to HIV, a benefit that transferred to the recipient. Such a complex treatment approach, however, HIV experts agree, is neither feasible nor practical for the 33 million people worldwide infected with HIV.

“Complete viral eradication on a large scale is our long-term goal but, for now, remains out of reach, and our best chance may come from aggressive, timely and precisely targeted use of antiviral therapies in high-risk newborns as a way to achieve functional cure,” Luzuriaga says.

Despite the promise this approach holds for infected newborns, the researchers say preventing mother-to-child transmission remains the primary goal.

“Prevention really is the best cure, and we already have proven strategies that can prevent 98 percent of newborn infections by identifying and treating HIV-positive pregnant women,” says Gay, the HIV expert who treated the infant.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research and by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Founded in 1912 as the children’s hospital of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center offers one of the most comprehensive pediatric medical programs in the country, with nearly 95,000 patient visits and some 9,000 admissions each year. Hopkins Children’s is consistently ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation. Hopkins Children’s is Maryland’s largest children’s hospital and the only state-designated Trauma Service and Burn Unit for pediatric patients. It has recognized Centers of Excellence in dozens of pediatric subspecialties, including allergy, cardiology, cystic fibrosis, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, pulmonary, and transplant. For more information, visit www.hopkinschildrens.org.

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Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 in Breaking News, Breakthroughs | 0 comments

Scientists say baby born with HIV apparently cured

WASHINGTON — A baby born with the AIDS virus appears to have been cured, scientists announced Sunday, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who’s now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.
By: Associated Press

Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins' Children's Center in Baltimore

Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins’ Children’s Center in Baltimore

This image provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine shows Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins’ Children’s Center in Baltimore. A baby, born with the AIDS virus, appears to have been cured scientists announced Sunday, describing the case of a child from Mississippi, who’s now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. (AP Photo/Johns Hopkins Medicine)

WASHINGTON — A baby born with the AIDS virus appears to have been cured, scientists announced Sunday, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who’s now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.

There’s no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus’ genetic material still lingering. If so, it would mark only the world’s second reported cure.

Specialists say Sunday’s announcement, at a major AIDS meeting in Atlanta, offers promising clues for efforts to eliminate HIV infection in children, especially in AIDS-plagued African countries where too many babies are born with the virus.

“You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we’ve seen,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who is familiar with the findings, told The Associated Press.

A doctor gave this baby faster and stronger treatment than is usual, starting a three-drug infusion within 30 hours of birth. That was before tests confirmed the infant was infected and not just at risk from a mother whose HIV wasn’t diagnosed until she was in labor.

“I just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk, and deserved our best shot,” Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi, said in an interview.

That fast action apparently knocked out HIV in the baby’s blood before it could form hideouts in the body. Those so-called reservoirs of dormant cells usually rapidly reinfect anyone who stops medication, said Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. She led the investigation that deemed the child “functionally cured,” meaning in long-term remission even if all traces of the virus haven’t been completely eradicated.

Next, Persaud’s team is planning a study to try to prove that, with more aggressive treatment of other high-risk babies. “Maybe we’ll be able to block this reservoir seeding,” Persaud said.

No one should stop anti-AIDS drugs as a result of this case, Fauci cautioned.

But “it opens up a lot of doors” to research if other children can be helped, he said. “It makes perfect sense what happened.”

Better than treatment is to prevent babies from being born with HIV in the first place.

About 300,000 children were born with HIV in 2011, mostly in poor countries where only about 60 percent of infected pregnant women get treatment that can keep them from passing the virus to their babies. In the U.S., such births are very rare because HIV testing and treatment long have been part of prenatal care.

“We can’t promise to cure babies who are infected. We can promise to prevent the vast majority of transmissions if the moms are tested during every pregnancy,” Gay stressed.

The only other person considered cured of the AIDS virus underwent a very different and risky kind of treatment — a bone marrow transplant from a special donor, one of the rare people who is naturally resistant to HIV. Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco has not needed HIV medications in the five years since that transplant.

The Mississippi case shows “there may be different cures for different populations of HIV-infected people,” said Dr. Rowena Johnston of amFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. That group funded Persaud’s team to explore possible cases of pediatric cures.

It also suggests that scientists should look back at other children who’ve been treated since shortly after birth, including some reports of possible cures in the late 1990s that were dismissed at the time, said Dr. Steven Deeks of the University of California, San Francisco, who also has seen the findings.

“This will likely inspire the field, make people more optimistic that this is possible,” he said.

In the Mississippi case, the mother had had no prenatal care when she came to a rural emergency room in advanced labor. A rapid test detected HIV. In such cases, doctors typically give the newborn low-dose medication in hopes of preventing HIV from taking root. But the small hospital didn’t have the proper liquid kind, and sent the infant to Gay’s medical center. She gave the baby higher treatment-level doses.

The child responded well through age 18 months, when the family temporarily quit returning and stopped treatment, researchers said. When they returned several months later, remarkably, Gay’s standard tests detected no virus in the child’s blood.

Ten months after treatment stopped, a battery of super-sensitive tests at half a dozen laboratories found no sign of the virus’ return. There were only some remnants of genetic material that don’t appear able to replicate, Persaud said.

In Mississippi, Gay gives the child a check-up every few months: “I just check for the virus and keep praying that it stays gone.”

The mother’s HIV is being controlled with medication and she is “quite excited for her child,” Gay added.


Medical Data Mining, 3D medical data research

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Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Breaking News, Grants & Endowments | 0 comments

With $200 Million Gift, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Endows Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia Universit

Resource: Columbia University PressRoom

http://news.columbia.edu/pressroom/3004

News Release
Media contact:  Brian Connolly, 212-854-5573, bfc2107@columbia.edu

NEW YORK, December 17, 2012—Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger announced today that Mortimer B. Zuckerman has pledged $200 million to endow a Mind Brain Behavior Institute to support interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scholars across the University. Later this morning, Zuckerman and Bollinger will attend a university forum featuring the Institute’s founding co-directors, Thomas Jessell and Nobel laureates Richard Axel and Eric Kandel, to discuss plans for the Institute. They will be joined at the announcement by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“This country has provided me with extraordinary opportunities, and I am glad for the chance to support scientific leadership in a field I believe is so essential to all our lives,” said Zuckerman. “With an inspiring team of neuroscientists at its core, Columbia’s Mind Brain Behavior Institute is not only researching vital questions about diseases of the brain, especially as we age, it is bringing together talented researchers across many academic fields to address the central questions we face as a society. At its root, this is an investment in accomplished scholars whose collective mission is both greater understanding of the human condition and the discovery of new cures for human suffering. I can hardly think of anything more important than that. I feel deeply privileged to participate in this path-finding venture.”

The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute will build upon Columbia’s existing strengths in the biological and physical sciences, supplement its medical excellence, and coordinate its world-class neuroscience research communities on the Morningside Heights and Washington Heights campuses.

“On behalf of the University, I want to express our gratitude to Mort Zuckerman for this historic gift and also acknowledge the profound responsibility we have to marshal these resources to expand our knowledge of the mind, brain and human behavior,” Bollinger said. “His vision and generosity will help ensure that Columbia will be home to an enduring community of great scholars pursuing scientific exploration of the brain and human behavior, where the scale and variety of research will touch upon virtually every area of human endeavor and understanding.”

The Institute’s academic leadership and many of its principal investigators will be located within the 450,000 square-foot Jerome L. Greene Science Center, now rising as the centerpiece of the University’s new Manhattanville campus. It will become the hub of cross-campus research on brain science, bringing together researchers from Columbia University Medical Center, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and other schools to collaborate on pioneering research in the neural sciences and a wide array of academic fields involving human behavior.

“Mort Zuckerman’s generous gift will fund research that will unlock the workings of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and help liberate humankind from the suffering they produce,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “And like the City’s support for new applied sciences institutes at Columbia and other campuses, it will keep New York at the forefront of the scientific research and development critical to our city’s economic future.”

The Zuckerman Institute will pursue cutting-edge research in neurobiology and deeper insights into human mental functions in both health and disease. A key goal will be facilitating translational programs focused on new therapies and potential cures for disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and Asperger’s, schizophrenia and mood disorders, memory loss, neurotrauma and stroke, decision making, theoretical neuroscience, sensory perception and neural stem cell biology.

“Mort Zuckerman’s vision, insight and commitment in supporting truly innovative science that probes the deep mysteries of brain and mind are quite remarkable,” said Jessell, Claire Tow Professor of Motor Neuron Disorders in the departments of neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biophysics. “In essence it ensures the future success of the Mind Brain Behavior initiative and more generally will propel the field of brain science into a new and exciting phase of discovery and translational relevance.”

Interdisciplinary thinking represents a critical and distinctive element of the Zuckerman Institute. It will ultimately include an innovative mix of scientists and scholars from such fields as statistics, mathematics, structural biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, engineering, law, business, political science and economics. It will link the neural sciences with academic programs in areas stretching across the humanities and the arts on all campuses.

“Mort Zuckerman’s extraordinary gift places Columbia in a position to produce a paradigm shift in how brain science is practiced by connecting to the many facets of the  academic enterprise that are concerned with mind and behavior including, law, economic decision making, sociology, psychology and  art,” said Kandel, University Professor and Kavli Professor of Brain Science. “As Lee Bollinger has said, brain science is central to the academic enterprise because in a sense everyone at the University works on issues of the mind.”

Kandel, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000 for demonstrating how changes of synaptic function are central for learning and memory, co-hosts a monthly televised discussion series about the brain on The Charlie Rose Show. He is the author of the recently published The Age of Insight, about the role of the unconscious in the perception of art from turn of the century Vienna to the present.

“Mort Zuckerman is a deep and thoughtful man, who once again has revealed his generosity with a gracious gift to the Mind Brain Behavior initiative,” said Axel, University Professor and professor of biochemistry, molecular biophysics and pathology. “It is now our responsibility to use this gift creatively to gain greater insight into the most complex, the most fascinating structure in the universe, the human brain.” Axel shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2004 for his pioneering research on the olfactory system, expanding our understanding about the sense of smell.

Over the next several years, through carefully planned recruitment, the Institute’s faculty will grow to 65 members plus a number of independent junior fellows and visiting scholars. At full strength, there will be 1,000 scientists and staff working across Columbia’s campuses.

“The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute will reinforce and catalyze key collaborations between Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus and the Washington Heights health sciences campus,” said Dr. Lee Goldman, Columbia’s Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and of Medicine. “Working together, these Columbia scientists will bring an unprecedented commitment to neuroscience, from the most basic discoveries to the most rapid translation of those discoveries into precision medical care.”

Supported by a generous gift from the late Dawn Greene and the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Jerome L. Greene Science Center was designed specifically by architect Renzo Piano to serve as the hub for this neuroscience research and the study of mind, brain and behavior. The Center will include a neuroscience public outreach and education center on Columbia’s new Manhattanville campus in West Harlem. The campus plan was recently awarded New York City’s first LEED-ND Platinum designation for environmentally sustainable urban design, a first for a university campus in the United States.

“The Mind Brain Behavior Institute will be transformational as one of the key interdisciplinary priorities for the science departments in Columbia’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences,” said Amber Miller, dean for science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “Strong science provides a foundation for good decisions across many issues facing our society; and strong social science, humanities, and professional schools provide a framework for integrating new scientific discoveries and inventions. We can all be grateful that Mort Zuckerman has given us this extraordinary opportunity.”

Today’s forum begins at 11:00 a.m. in the Rotunda of Low Memorial Library, on the Morningside Heights campus. It will provide insight and context on the breadth of scholarship that the Zuckerman Institute will engage across Columbia. In addition to the Institute’s three founding co-directors, the conversation will feature Geraldine Downey, professor of psychology; Dr. Kenneth Forde, professor emeritus of clinical surgery and University Trustee; Elizabeth Hillman, associate professor of biomedical engineering and radiology; and Dr. David H. Strauss, deputy director for research, New York State Psychiatric Institute and vice chair of Columbia’s department of psychiatry.

About Columbia University Among the world’s leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York continually seeks to advance the frontiers of scholarship and foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and confronting the complex issues of our time through teaching, research, patient care and public service. The University is comprised of 16 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, and four affiliated colleges and seminaries in Northern Manhattan, as well as a wide array of research institutes and global centers located in major cities around the world. More than 40,000 accomplished students, award-winning faculty and professional staff define the University’s underlying values and commitment to pursuing new knowledge and educating informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

About Columbia University Medical Center Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical, and clinical research; in medical and health sciences education; and in patient care. It trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the MD degree and is among the most selective medical schools in the country. CUMC is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest in the United States.

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