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
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.
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.