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.

Learn more about the history of our institute

Research Spotlight

Neuroscience News 2017 - U Takes a Leading Role in the Lifespan Human Connectome Project  

Brain mapping
The latest edition of the University of Minnesota Foundation's Neuroscience Newsletter features the collaboration of researchers in the most amitious brain imaging study ever conducted, the Human Connectome Project. More than six years ago, the University of Minnesota spearheaded the technological advances behind the project, mapping the vast network of about 90 billion neurons and trillions of interconnections in the brains of young, healthy adults at the millimeter scale.

The U’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) developed the imaging methods and directions on reconstructing the images to make sense of the data. Colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis did the bulk of the brain scanning—in total, 1,200 volunteers—and, together with investigators from Oxford University, developed the image processing pipelines.

Findings from this National Institutes of Health (NIH)–funded project, now complete and celebrated as a success, are publicly available to scientists and anyone else who wants them. The insights gleaned so far are fascinating.

“Our consortium [found] that the brain networks that we can detect very much correlated with behavioral measures, lifestyle measures,” says CMRR director and ITN Steering Committee member Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D. “For example, they are correlated very strongly with IQ, with education, with drug use or alcoholism, etcetera.”

This project is a testament to the many strides and discoveries ITN researchers make in their fields, which not only benefit the University but influence research on a global level.

The article in its entirety can be found here.

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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. 


Moving promising neuroscience research forward


Discoveries happen where disciplines meet


Combining powerhouse research and clinical care to impact lives