Director's Messages

Conferences, workshops, and other gatherings are valuable opportunities for NINDS to connect with the neuroscience community and learn from the constituencies that we serve.

NINDS’s pact with the US citizens is to fund research that is careful, rigorous, and of the highest quality.  Our commitment to rigorous research is especially important as labs plan and implement re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic and trainees return to the classrooms and benches.

The events of the past few weeks, catalyzed by George Floyd’s death, have unveiled for many the multifaceted racism faced by the Black community for centuries.

Amidst these uncertain times, the current COVID-19 pandemic is prevalent in headlines and constantly on our minds, and it’s easy to overlook the contributions that NIH is making toward other aspects of the biomedical enterprise.

We are wrapping up May Stroke Awareness Month. At NINDS, stroke is in our name and we are strongly committed to funding research in stroke, from basic to translational to clinical studies.

The past few weeks have been an unsettling time for all of us. The rapidly evolving public health emergency associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has upended our lives.

Rare diseases often don’t have the same name recognition that other neurological disorders might, such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, or stroke. While NINDS devotes ample efforts toward research programs on understanding and treating these prevalent disorders, rare diseases have equally important stories to tell.

The end of a decade – and the start of a new one – brings a certain state of reflection that can differ from the usual year-to-year perspective. As I look back on the last decade, and particularly in the last year, I am heartened and encouraged by the significant strides that NINDS has made and continues to make through funding awards, facilitating collaborations, launching new initiatives, and transitioning leadership roles.

I am incredibly pleased to announce the recent launch of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Knowledge Portal. NIH has joined forces with public, private, and non-profit partners to provide a platform that will lower barriers to identifying and validating biomarkers that could be used in PD diagnosis, prognosis, mapping disease progression, and finding new therapeutic targets.

There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to the BRAIN Initiative, especially now that the NIH ACD BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0, and the BRAIN Neuroethics Subgroup (BNS) have delivered their final reports.