Initiatives and Programs

Faculty Grant Initiatives

Marko Spark Innovation Research Fund in Memory, Cognition, and Neurodegeneration. The Marko Spark Innovation Research Fund was created to spark innovative cross-disciplinary research and support the creation of collaborative research teams at the new Tulane Brain Institute. A $50,000 award is to be made in each of five years beginning in 2016.        
     Recipients of the 2017 Award
were Anne Robinson and Laura Schrader in support of their proposal "Mechanistic Determinants of Trans-synaptic Tau Transmission."

     Recipients of the 2016 Award were Bruce Bunnell and Michael Moore in support of their proposal "Determining actions of adipose stem cells on CNS remyelination in a novel microengineered in vitro model". 


Tulane Brain Institute Research Fund Award.
The primary objective of this initiative is to provide seed funding to stimulate future federal funding. At the discretion of the Brain Institute Executive Committee, an annual award of $10,000 - $25,000 may be targeted as seed funding to spark new collaborations or as bridge funding to help re-establish external funding of existing research programs. 
       Recipients of the 2016 Award that aimed to spark new research collaborations were Laura Schrader and Ricardo Mostany in support of their proposal "Orchestration of thalamic oscillations by Shox2 and its role in experience-dependent cortical plasticity".

Scientific Programs

Tulane Brain Institute Annual Retreat. A highlight of each academic year is the annual Tulane Brain Institute retreat. The retreat is held on a Saturday early in the spring semester and attended by the Brain Institute faculty and Neuroscience Program doctoral students. Often held at an off-campus site, such as the New Orleans Audubon Zoo, the retreat is a day of camaraderie and science.

D.U.N.K. (Downtown – Uptown Neuroscience Krewe) Breakfast Meetings. The Brain Institute hosts informal monthly breakfast meetings that are open to all Brain Institute labs, including faculty, PhD students, and postdocs working at the School of Medicine (Downtown) and at the School of Science and Engineering (Uptown). At each meeting, two to three Neuroscience Program doctoral students, usually from a single lab, present "work-in-progress" talks to the group. Lively discussions follow.

Tulane Brain Institute Seminar Series. The Brain Institute supports weekly seminars given by nationally recognized neuroscientists and attended by faculty and students. Faculty and doctoral students are invited to host speakers.

Student Programs

 T.U.R.N. (Tulane Undergraduate Research in Neuroscience) Summer Program. Stipends are provided to undergraduates to work full-time for eight weeks in Brain Institute faculty labs. The Program includes weekly research meetings with faculty mentors and students and culminates in a poster session and social event.

Jean Yocum Harlan Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Presentations.Three Neuroscience Program doctoral students are recognized each year for outstanding research presentations at the Brain Institute annual retreat. Awardees receive a monetary award and have their names engraved on a plaque hung in the Brain Institute Offices.

Doctoral Student Spring Professional Development Workshop. The Brain Institute supports a professional development workshop each spring for Neuroscience Program doctoral students on a topic of their choosing.