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

ITN in the News - Commercially Promising Stem Cell Research Projects Land State Funding

brain cells
A January 2018 article in Twin Cities Business features ITN Scholar Marija Cvetanovic as a Regenerative Medicine Minnesota's 2018 award winner in the "translational research" category, which seeks to help scientists develop clinical applications for basic regenerative medicine research projects.  Regenerative Medicine Minnesota (RMM) funds projects aimed at chronic disorders that strongly impact health care costs in Minnesota.

Dr. Cvetanovic's laboratory here at the U is studying how different brain cells and their interactions influence the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly the inherited disease Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1).  SCA1 is a rare condition, affecting 1 to 2 people in 100,000 worldwide, but causes worsening disability over 10 to 20 years.  Her translational research efforts are focused on determining the therapeutic potential of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein also known as BDNF, in delaying the onset and progression of SCA1.  

This award is a testament to the promising work being done by Dr. Cvetanovic and her team, which not only benefits the University but also brings hope to families affected by this condition.

Additional resources:


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