Dr. Robert Finkelstein has been the Director of the NINDS Division of Extramural Research since November 2004. In this capacity, he is responsible for planning and policy, coordinating scientific programs funded by the Institute, and overseeing the scientific review, grants management, and administrative services of the extramural program. NINDS has been at the forefront of funding neuroscience research in areas ranging from the structure and function of single brain cells to research on the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and, most recently, the translational research that is helping to bridge the gap. The Institute's mission is to reduce the burden of neurological disease - a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world. Before coming to NINDS, Dr. Finkelstein earned his Ph.D. in biology from MIT, did postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School, and was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His research there focused on brain development in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. Dr. Finkelstein joined the Extramural Division in 1999 as a Program Director in the Neurogenetics Cluster. In this role, he developed many research initiatives and was responsible for overseeing grants in areas including basic neurodevelopment, brain tumors, neurofibromatosis and many disorders of the developing nervous system.