Looking forward to seeing colleagues at AAN!

This week, along with many of my NINDS colleagues, I am joining members of the neurology community in Philadelphia for the 71st annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The meeting brings together an important and vital group of researchers and clinicians who are essential to the NINDS mission. It also provides us with an opportunity to meet face-to-face.

At this year’s AAN meeting, I am excited to announce a new NINDS blog written by our Deputy Director, Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D. In addition to her many research interests, Dr. Schor is passionate about communicating science to the public. Called The Schor Line, the new blog will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the role NINDS plays in advancing our knowledge of the brain and neurological disorders. Dr. Schor will also write about upcoming events and public health campaigns, as well as new scientific breakthroughs, all in a style designed to reach a wide audience. There is also a submission form on the blog site where you can suggest future topics. If you are attending AAN, I invite you to pick up promotional material about The Schor Line and other NINDS activities at Booth #2117 in the Exhibit Hall.

In addition, NINDS will participate in AAN’s NIH Day on Tuesday, May 7, in the Grand Experience Area in the Grand Hall starting at 8am. This event features an informative and interactive series of presentations on Stage Two in the Research Corner, where attendees can hear about many NIH activities and programs that touch on neuroscience research, including funding opportunities and clinical research networks. To kick off the day, I will team up with Eliezer Masliah, M.D., director of the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, to give a brief welcome and an overview of NIH funding. One of the presentations will focus on the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative, which as I have written previously is one way the NIH is addressing the current opioid epidemic. Part of this important initiative provides funding for research to help us better understand the biological mechanisms of pain. You can find more information on HEAL funding opportunities on the NIH HEAL Initiative Funding Opportunities web page. Another area of intense interest and concern is the increasing rate of dementia in our aging population, and NINDS and NIA will highlight a number of research opportunities in this area as well.

On Monday, May 6, I will moderate a dialogue on the BRAIN Initiative at 8am, in the Research Corner of the Grand Experience Area in the Grand Hall. As we enter the second phase of this important effort to decipher brain circuits and function, it is thrilling to reflect on the advances made so far and consider exciting new directions ahead of us. Members of both the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0 and the BRAIN Neuroethics Subgroup will provide an overview of their efforts to update the BRAIN Initiative strategic plan and develop a Neuroethics Roadmap going forward. BRAIN investigators will also share their perspectives on potential collaborations and neuroethical considerations of their work.

As a reminder, NIH is currently accepting comments on draft findings and analysis by the ACD BRAIN Initiative Working Group and on a draft Neuroethics Roadmap from the BRAIN Neuroethics Subgroup. To view these drafts and give feedback, please visit https://www.braininitiative.nih.gov/strategic-planning/acd-working-group/brain-initiative-request-information-rfi-2019. Comments on the draft ACD Working Group findings will be received through the RFI or by emailing BRAINfeedback@nih.gov through May 15, and comments on the draft Neuroethics Roadmap will be accepted by emailing BNS@nih.gov through May 20.

I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia at these and all of the exciting events that AAN is offering this year!

Related links:

BRAIN Initiative Request for Information

Director’s Message featuring Dr. Nina Schor

Dr. Nina Schor’s new blog: The Schor Line