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Press Release

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham To Lead Carnegie Mellon's New Neuroscience Institute

Carnegie Mellon University
Posted on: 28 Feb 18

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Building on years of momentum in advancing brain science research, Carnegie Mellon University has appointed renowned auditory neuroscientist Barbara Shinn-Cunningham to help establish a new, cross-disciplinary neuroscience institute that will create innovative tools and technologies critical to advancing brain science.

Shinn-Cunningham is currently the director of Boston University's Center for Research in Sensory Communication and Emerging Neural Technology (CRESCENT) and has been on BU's faculty since 1997. Trained as an electrical engineer, Shinn-Cunningham is interested in how information is processed in the brain. 

"With the creation of this institute and the appointment of Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Carnegie Mellon is renewing its commitment to neuroscience research and education," said Laurie Weingart, interim provost. "Together they will position the university to accelerate our strengths, bridge new connections across campus and bring in new talent, ideas and resources — all to work to understand some of the brain's biggest mysteries."

Shinn-Cunningham's leadership of the new institute will coalesce Carnegie Mellon's existing resources in neuroscience in order to expand collaborative research across the biological sciences, cognitive neuroscience and psychology, as well as deepen connections to Carnegie Mellon's strengths in other disciplines.

Current neuroscience initiatives and programs at CMU, including BrainHub and the joint CMU/University of Pittsburgh Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), will form the foundation for the new institute that will be jointly run by the Dietrich College and Mellon College of Science.  

Launched in 2014, BrainHub brought together close to 50 faculty members from across campus who are studying the brain. Work done by these scientists have led to a greater understanding of human cognition, memory, autism and Parkinson's disease, and helped further technologies, such as neural prosthetics, brain-computer interfaces and innovative tools for imaging the brain. BrainHub has advanced the university's position in the field, with support from a number of sources, including the federal BRAIN Initiative, foundations that include the Hillman Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the Fine Family Foundation, and individuals, such as Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Founded 24 years ago, the CNBC is an interdisciplinary research and educational program that brings together CMU's expertise in cognitive and computational neuroscience with the University of Pittsburgh's strengths in basic and clinical neuroscience. It is home to the top-ranked neural computation doctoral program in the country.

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 28/02/2018

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