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. Click here to learn more about the history of our Institute.

Research Spotlight

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Our mission is to conduct cutting-edge translational Alzheimer’s disease research.
Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease

Our newest featured spotlight focuses on the N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care, which examines molecules and proteins involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The laboratories of Dr. Karen Hsiao Ashe (Director) and Dr. Sylvain Lesné (Associate director), are currently working to develop drugs that prevent and cure this devastating disease.  

In addition to the groundbreaking research being conducted at the Center, one of the group's greatest assets is the amazing network within the University and across the field with whom they work to advance Alzheimer’s disease research. Current partnerships include:

  • In collaboration with Dr. Michael Koob’s laboratory, they are working to develop a mouse model that entirely mimics Alzheimer’s disease progression. These mice will be an invaluable tool in their pursuit of preventative drugs and a cure. Using “recombinase-mediated bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-targeted embryonic stem cells,” a method invented by Dr. Michael Koob, they are working to create an “iMouse”.
  • In order to develop and test AD therapies, they are also collaborating with Dr. Michael Walters at the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development (ITTD).  This team of expert medicinal chemists is developing compounds that will potentially prevent, treat, and stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In order to deliver drugs to targeted areas of the brain, they are likewise collaborating with Dr. Efie Kokkoli and the MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program. Dr. Kokkoli’s method for engineering drug delivery containers allows for the effective shuttling of therapeutic molecules (antisense oligonucleotides, or ASOs) into the brain. Once the ASO’s bind to targeted molecules in the brain, they offer potential to decrease Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive decline.

To learn more about the extraordinary strides that the Grossman Center and it’s collaborators are marking in the field please click on the following links:
-N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care Website
-"Of Mice and Medicine"


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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Moving promising neuroscience research forward


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Discoveries happen where disciplines meet


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Combining powerhouse research and clinical care to impact lives

Founding centers

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Interested in learning more about our upcoming events? Follow this link to visit our Events page.