Institute for Translational Neuroscience


The Institute for Translational Neuroscience's greatest strength is bringing together different groups under one common goal: to advance neuroscience research at the University of Minnesota.

The Institute for Translational Neuroscience (ITN) was established in 2007 as a University-wide presidential initiative to promote the transfer of discoveries in the basic neurosciences to clinical practice. The institute is charged to enhance basic science discovery with new knowledge leading to subsequent clinical trials and establishment of new therapeutic principles or tools.

Research Spotlight

University of Minnesota named a Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research, receives $9.07 million over five years

The University of Minnesota has been named a Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research, joining eight other centers around the country and with that distinction was awarded a National Institutes of Health-funded grant totaling $9.07 million over the next five years to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

A team of University researchers and physicians, led by Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Neurology and ITN Steering Committee member, seek to better understand the changes in brain circuitry that occur in patients with  Parkinson’s disease. Vitek and his multidisciplinary team will leverage this understanding to improve deep brain stimulation (DBS) and other therapies to treat Parkinson’s disease.

“At the University of Minnesota we have a world-class multidisciplinary team to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease,” said Vitek. “And because of our significant experience and expertise we are able to take on this complex and often debilitating movement disorder with a goal of improving patient’s lives.”

The University of Minnesota’s Udall grant will focus on three main Parkinson’s disease research projects:

Project 1 will study the underlying changes in brain circuitry that affects patients with Parkinson’s disease by using cutting-edging brain imaging and intraoperative techniques that Dr. Vitek pioneered.
Project 2 will develop new stimulation approaches in a region of the brain called the pallidum that is important for controlling voluntary movement.
Project 3 will also explore the effects of novel stimulation approaches on brain circuitry that mediates movement problems associated with Parkinson’s disease.

To learn more about the Udall grant and what it means for the University please follow this link for the full press release:


Our main goal is to attract and recruit top scientists to shape discoveries that will lead to tomorrow's cures. The institute exemplifies how different disciplines, departments, and centers can work together in partnership to evolve neurological disease research at the University of Minnesota. We have built a community that encourages learning, education, innovation, and discovery all of which are more successful in a team oriented environment. 


ITN researcher

Moving promising neuroscience research forward


ITN speaker

Discoveries happen where disciplines meet


ITN seminar_cropped

Combining powerhouse research and clinical care to impact lives