NAMI Massachusetts joined other partner organizations in celebrating the opening of the McGovern Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Institute is conducting interdisciplinary research that combines and extends the results of recent breakthroughs in three major, interrelated areas: systems and computational neuroscience, imaging and cognitive neuroscience, and genetic and cellular neuroscience. Fundamental studies in genetics and cell biology, live measurement of brain physiology in humans and other animals performing cognitive tasks, and modeling of brain function using advanced tools in biocomputation and cognitive sciences -- such research will lay a foundation for a comprehensive description of the brain, including how it learns and communicates.
According to Robert Desimone, director of the Institute, "The McGovern Institute was created at the start of this new century, with a mandate to lead the world into a new era of systems neuroscience, the study of brain systems and behavior. The need is enormous. Millions of people of every age and nationality suffer from brain disorders. Individuals suffer, loved ones suffer, and societies pay an untold price. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, schizophrenia, autism, dyslexia and macular degeneration all cry out for cures. Problems of learning and perception demand better treatments."
NAMI's policy platform calls for research, treatment, education, and rehabilitation related to brain disorders and to appropriate funds sufficient to make that promise a reality. NAMI expects the rigor and pace of the field of services research to be equal to that of biomedical research.
Photo: (l to r) NAMI Massachusetts President Phil Hadley, Senator John Kerry, and NAMI Massachusetts Executive Director Toby Fisher welcome the opening of the McGovern Institute at MIT with the Director Robert Desimone