Broad Fellows Program in Brain Ciruitry
Advisory Board
Division of Biology
Broad Foundations


Neuroscientists study each of the 100 billion neurons in the human brain. But while they understand individual neurons, they've been stumped by how neurons work together, how they encode information, and how they generate thoughts, emotions, and actions.

That pioneering area of study is behind the Broad Fellows Program in Brain Circuitry at the California Institute of Technology, made possible through an $8.9 million grant from the Broad Foundations and philanthropist Eli Broad.

The funding will enable the program to establish six new neuroscience labs at Caltech and hire 24 researchers over the next five years.

Each of the Broad Fellows receives funding to hire up to three assistants.

"Each of the fellows will be able to devote up to five years to their projects, without having to worry about finding another postdoctoral appointment in a year or two or limiting themselves only to research that will lead to tenure," says Professor Henry A. Lester, Director of the program, and Bren Professor of Biology. "These researchers will be at a level between postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor, which means that they will be very independent and won't have to worry about the tenure clock."

The program is designed to give researchers the freedom and flexibility to advance their work in whatever way is most productive, and may include the development of specific technologies or the invention of new instruments. The Broad Fellows will be given individual space to do their work in the Beckman Laboratories of Behavioral Biology on the Caltech campus.

The program will be under the direction of Lester and a committee of other Caltech faculty members, including David J. Anderson, the Sperry Professor of Biology; Christof Koch, the Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology and Professor of Computation and Neural Systems; Mark Konishi, the Bing Professor of Behavioral Biology; Michael L. Roukes, Robert M. Abbey Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering; Co-Director, Kavli Nanoscience Institute; Barbara J. Wold, director of the Beckman Institute at Caltech and Bren Professor of Molecular Biology; and Kai G. Zinn, Professor of Biology.

The Broad Foundations were founded by Eli and Edythe L. Broad as a Los Angeles-based venture philanthropy focused on entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science, and the arts.