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Neuroscience Center to be Established

Neuroscience Center to be Established
At Columbia University

Columbia University has announced that it will use the largest single gift in its history to establish a new neuroscience research and teaching facility. Columbia officials say the Jerome L. Greene Science Center will bolster the university’s expanding work in mind, brain and behavior research. The center is being made possible by a $200 million gift from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation and Dawn M. Greene, Jerome Greene’s widow. Greene, a Columbia alumnus, was a prominent New York lawyer, real estate investor and philanthropist. Columbia officials say the gift is the largest ever received by any U.S. university for the creation of a single facility.

“The Jerome L. Greene Science Center, on our proposed Manhattanville campus, will forever symbolize our ongoing effort to understand the human organism,” says Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger. “It will also, in very practical ways, lead to cures for diseases and a deeper grasp of our behavior as individuals and societies.”

The center will be led by Columbia neurobiologist Dr. Thomas Jessell and Nobel laureates Dr. Richard Axel and Dr. Eric Kandel. According to the university, several scientists and researchers, including Jessell, Axel and Kandel, have already made groundbreaking contributions in the field. The center will include laboratories where Columbia scientists can explore the causal relationship between gene function, brain wiring and behavior. The research is hoped to produce practical implications for the understanding and treatment of brain illness, including neurodegenerative and motor neuron diseases, among others.

“Our generation of scientists has come to believe that the biology of the mind will be as important scientifically to the 21st century as the biology of the gene was for the 20th century,” Kandel says.

Columbia officials say the center will be built in the Manhattanville community of West Harlem once it gains full public approval. The Manhattanville site is close to Columbia’s Morningside Heights and the Medical Center campuses.

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