Local News

IU Medical School, Health System Announce $150 Million Research Initiative

The Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Health hospital system are launching an unprecedented $150 million research collaboration.

Each institution is putting up $75 million for the five year effort, called the Strategic Research Initiative.

The research will focus on cancer, heart disease and neuroscience.

“The endpoint is really to develop personalized medicine and to take model discoveries out of our laboratories and into the clinic,” said Dr. David Wilkes (above), executive associate dean for research affairs at the medical school.

Wilkes says there will be particular emphasis on the genetics of cardiovascular disease, neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and autism and the development of new cancer drugs.

Wilkes says the initiative also will allow the two entities to attract new high level researchers and more grant money.

(Photo courtesy of IU School of Medicine)

Here and Now Local News

David Eagleman on Here and Now [Audio]

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine and directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action. His most recent book is Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain.  He will give a public talk at the Louisville Free Public Library this evening.

His work and research probes the inner workings of the unconscious mind and asks several provocative questions about how information and stimuli are perceived and processed, with some startling real-world implications.  He states, “All of our lives — our cognition, our thoughts, our beliefs — all of these are underpinned by these massive lightning storms of [electrical] activity [in our brains,] and yet we don’t have any awareness of it,” he says. “What we find is that our brains have colossal things happening in them all the time.”

From the dust jacket of the book:
If the conscious mind–the part you consider you–is just the tip of the iceberg in the brain, what is all the rest doing?  Neuroscientist David Eagleman plumbs the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising questions: Why can your foot jump halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead?  Why do strippers make more money at certain times of month, even while no one is consciously aware of their fertility level?  Is there a true Mel Gibson? What do Odysseus and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common?  How is your brain like a conflicted democracy engaged in civil war?  Why are people whose name begins with J more likely to marry other people whose name begins with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? Why did Supreme Court Justice William Douglas deny that he was paralyzed? The subsurface exploration includes waystops in brain damage, drugs, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, the future of artificial intelligence, and visual illusions–all highlighting how our perception of the world is a hidden and awe-inspiring construction of the brain.

Eagleman was interviewed today on Here and Now by Todd Mundt. Catch the full conversation below.

Audio MP3
Local News

Norton Announces Neuroscience Center

Norton Healthcare officials announced Thursday that they will spend up to 100 million dollars over the next ten years to develop a neuroscience center.

The Norton Neuroscience Institute will focus on treatment, research and academics, with ties to the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine.

Program director Steve Reiss says he had problems recruiting neuroscientists to come to Louisville before the center was planned. Now, he hopes the institute will bring in doctors to treat conditions that once required patients to leave the city.

“There have been certain types of neurological diseases that simply were not treated in Louisville,” he says. “Example, epilepsy surgery. There was no one in the entire state of Kentucky doing any significant epilepsy surgery.”

Reiss says roughly one third of all people will be affected by a neurological disorder in their lifetimes.