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Swartz Foundation 2007 Events & News Review

Momentum Growing in Field of Brain Research

Old Field, New York, July 23, 2007—The Swartz Foundation today announced a 12 month rolling slate of ’07-08 events to include:
  • July 28-31: 2007 Annual Meeting of the Sloan-Swartz Centers for Theoretical Neuroscience to be held at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
  • March 10, 2008: 12th Annual Mind/Brain Stony Brook Public Lecture; guest speaker – Patricia Churchland, Chair of Philosophy, UCSD
  • April, 2008: 10th Annual Banbury Series Workshop at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – Theme: “Attention”

Additional events, key center activities and other news will be announced throughout the year.

We noted over the past year an increasing momentum (worldwide) in the field of brain science research. In a keynote presentation at the Sloan-Swartz 2006 Annual Meeting held at Columbia University, Fred Wolf (Max Planck Institute, Göttingen) mentioned the recently established Bernstein Centers for Computational Neuroscience, funded by the German government, and “modeled after the Sloan-Swartz Centers in the U.S.” Many German neuroscientists have trained in the U.S., and several American scientists associated with Sloan-Swartz served on advisory committees for the new Bernstein Centers.

In the U.S., the Swartz Foundation significantly expanded its research commitments throughout the year with the kickoff of a comp neuro center at Columbia University, directed by Larry Abbot and Ken Miller, and with a multi-year grant extension of $6 million at its UCSD Center, directed by Scott Makeig. That center recently received an NSF grant to study multimodal dynamic imaging of human brain activity.

At Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Tony Zador was recently named Director of the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience. The Foundation also provided CSHL with a $1M grant toward a Center for Neural Mechanisms of Cognition, which kicked off in 2006.

In August, 2006, the Foundation announced new Swartz initiatives at both Princeton University, headed by Bill Bialek, and at Yale University, headed by Xiao Jing Wang. These initiatives continue to broaden the Foundation’s efforts to foster collaborative research and interdisciplinary training in computational and theoretical neuroscience.

Major programs and events supported by the Foundation in 2006 and 2007-to-date included:
  • The 10th Annual Stony Brook University Mind/Brain Lecture on March 27, 2006, by Helen Fisher, PhD (Rutgers University); “The Drive to Love: The Biology and Evolution of Romantic Love”
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Banbury Conference on large-scale brain modeling, April 3-5, 2006; “Computational Approaches to Cortical Functions,” co-organized by Larry Abbott (Columbia) and Bob Shapley (NYU)
  • Sloan-Swartz Centers Annual Meeting, at Columbia University, July 22-25, 2006
  • “Multi-level Brain Modeling” Workshop at UCSD; September 29 - Oct. 1, 2006, organized by Terry Sejnowski (Salk Institute)
  • March 12, 2007: 11th Annual Mind/Brain Public Lecture at Stony Brook University; Mike Shadlen (University of Washington), presenting "How the Brain Decides; Uncovering the Secrets of Cognition." For details, visit:
  • April 8-11, 2007: Banbury Conference at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; “New Frontiers in Studies of Nonconscious Processing,” co-organized by Tim Wilson (University of Virginia) and Ap Dijksterhuis (University of Amsterdam). For details, visit:

“Theoretical neuroscience is coming into its own as brain research progress accelerates,” said Jerome Swartz, chairman of the Swartz Foundation. “Actionable results are beginning to impact the next generation of augmented computing as well as clinical areas of medicine and healthcare. Our sharpened understanding of brain and mind at all levels, from molecular & neuronal to cognitive & behavioral, is now the basis of interdisciplinary curriculum at many universities.”

The Swartz Foundation was established by Jerry Swartz in 1994 to explore the application of mathematical physics, computer science, systems analysis and behavioral psychology to theoretical neurobiology, as a path to better understand the brain/mind relationship.

The Foundation supports post-doc research in theoretical neuroscience at 11 universities and scientific institutions, through centers and initiatives at Harvard University (2007), Princeton University, Yale University (2006), Columbia University (2005), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2004), and UC San Diego (2002), and in partnership with the Sloan Foundation at their original five Centers for Theoretical Neurobiology (1994) at Salk Institute, Cal Tech, UC San Francisco, NYU/Courant and Brandeis University. The Swartz Foundation also sponsors conferences, workshops, seminars, and public lectures in brain science.

For more information, visit

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