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Posted: January 26, 2004
Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Awarded $17.3 Million Grant Renewal
ATLANTA—The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, a consortium of eight metro Atlanta colleges and universities with more than 90 neuroscientists, has been awarded a $17.3 million five-year grant renewal from the National Science Foundation.
The new funding commitment, which the U.S. Congress must authorize in the 2005 federal budget, brings total NSF support for the center to $37.2 million through November 2009.
Over the same period, Georgia Research Alliance—the private, nonprofit partnership of Georgia’s research universities, government, and industry that drives the state’s science and technology strategy—has committed several million dollars in infrastructure support for CBN.
“We are grateful to both the National Science Foundation and the Georgia Research Alliance for their substantial investments in the center,” said CBN Director Elliott Albers of Georgia State University. “The commitments demonstrate their conviction that CBN is making significant contributions to improving understanding of behavioral neuroscience and in our potential to leverage research findings and technologies into new clinical and commercial applications.”
In the field of behavioral neuroscience, experts have identified CBN as a leading player in the Southeast’s biotech industry. Looking ahead, Albers noted that CBN will work to commercialize its technologies and develop industry partnerships.
“We are convinced the CBN will play a major role in the burgeoning biotech industry in Georgia,” said GRA President Michael Cassidy. “The findings emerging from CBN studies are already leading to clinical and commercial applications many more of which are certain to emerge over the next few years.”
Since its founding in 1999, CBN has conducted breakthrough research in four basic areas of social behavior: fear, aggression, affiliation and reproduction.
• CBN’s researchers’ studies on the brain’s amygdala, which controls the fear response, have led to the development of a therapy for people suffering from acrophobia.
• Other research has shown that phytoestrogen supplements, an increasingly popular soy-derived alternative to estrogen replacement therapy, do not produce the same effects on the brain as endogenous estrogen and can actually have anti-estrogenic effects on female sexual behavior.
• A finding that the brain chemical, vasopressin, plays a key role in the formation of
social attachments between prairie voles has implications for treating autism.
• A CBN-developed magnetic resonance imaging technique employing manganese can be used to identify the brain structures that mediate dominance and aggression in animals as small as crayfish. The technique will help scientists determine the neural mechanisms responsible for the formation of social hierarchies and could potentially yield insight into violent behavior in humans.
CBN consists of lead institution Georgia State University along with Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the five schools comprising the Atlanta University Center (Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown College and Spelman College).
For more information on the grant renewal and how it will be used in the future, contact Poul Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-463-9433.