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.


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Research Spotlight

University of Minnesota's CMRR receives $6.9 million grant to continue brain connectivity research

Dr. Kamil UgurbilResearchers at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) were awarded a $6.9 million grant to continue their research to map human brain connectivity as it relates to aging and development as part of the Lifespan Human Connectome Project (LHCP). The $3.6 million aging grant will investigate the structural and functional changes that occur in the brain during typical aging. The $3.3 million development grant will map the development of brain structure and function from early childhood into adulthood. Both projects will use sophisticated, non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning.

This grant is part of a larger grant awarded to a consortium composed of four institutions: University of Minnesota, Washington University in St. Louis, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Harvard University. The four institutions will collect similar data to generate a large publically available database using imaging techniques developed at CMRR.

Nearly five years ago, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota (CMRR) consortium was awarded the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  grant for Human Connectome Project (HCP), with David Van Essen, Ph.D., from Washington University and Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D., from CMRR as the co-principle Investigators. This consortium also included researchers from Oxford University as a major participant. In this effort, CMRR was responsible for the  technical developments for image acquisition and the collection of the most advanced data sets. The NIH considers the HCP a tremendous success and the work CMRR did in this effort established the technological foundations for the new grants to be possible

“CMRR is a world leader in high field imaging and neuroimaging aimed at mapping activity in the human brain and due to our experience and technological capabilities we were able to be a part of the Human Connectome Project,” said Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D., co-principal investigator, professor of radiology, ITN Steering Committee member and director of the CMRR. “The mapping techniques we created in the HCP are truly transformative allowing us to better understand how the brain is organized and connected. With these new techniques, we are now in a position to ask about how the brain develops and changes over time, and how it is altered in diseases.”

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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. 


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