Exploration and Research on Brain, Behavior, and Health at the Forefront of Neuroscience Facility

University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences faculty showcased their cutting-edge research in the fields of scientific brain and genetic discoveries to alumni and visitors at the facility’s first open house event

The state-of-the-art laboratories in the Neuroscience building were humming with activity as University of Miami (UM) Arts & Sciences alumni, students, faculty, parents, friends of the U, and members of the Coral Gables community were invited to tour the 37,700-sq.-ft. facility where interdisciplinary and collaborative neuroscience research happens on a day-to-day basis.

‌“Never before have we had the opportunity to showcase the Neuroscience building,” said Dr. Philip McCabe, professor and chair of the Psychology Department at the UM College of Arts & Sciences. “This was the perfect opportunity for students, parents, alumni, and friends to tour the building and experience what happens here while also meeting the researchers and scientists who are very eager to share their work.”

Important dynamics of the Neuroscience building include its functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research laboratory – used solely for research purposes – where UM scientists and researchers focus on specific neurobiology and neuropsychology areas of study, such as anxiety disorders, memory loss, language development, and attention disorders.

“Neuroscience combines many disciplines and answers the fundamental questions about the brain and how it works,” said Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Leonidas Bachas. “It is exciting to see the scientists and researchers collaborating, each with diverse backgrounds in biology, physics, chemistry, and psychology, to address the intricacies of cognitive science.”

Faculty from the Departments of Psychology and Biology at UM’s College of Arts & Sciences showcased their cutting-edge research in the fields of scientific brain and genetic discoveries to visitors at the facility’s first open house event – from research focusing on large-scale networks in the brain and how these interconnections relate to autism, pain perception related to social and cultural factors, how zebrafish help scientists study hearing loss in humans, and how mindfulness training may effect the brain’s attention and working memory systems.

“The laboratories now ramping up their research within our new neuroscience facility highlight UM’s success at attracting top researchers as new faculty members, and providing them with critical infrastructure support to make cutting-edge neuroscientific discoveries,” said Dr. Amishi Jha, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts & Sciences. “It is an exciting time to be a neuroscientist at the U!”

Strategically located next to the Cox Science Center on the Coral Gables campus, the Neuroscience building was designed with input from working scientists, and encourages collaborative space where researchers can share common resources and have access to other core facilities. 

“The open house was a wonderful opportunity for faculty and students to showcase the amazing spectrum of studies being done in this unique facility, ranging from research on complex human brain function to live imaging of neuronal activity in model organisms such as flies and worms as they respond to external stimuli,” said Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at the College of Arts & Sciences Dr. Athula Wikramanayake. “I think people left with a greater appreciation for the importance of basic research on model organisms for gaining insight into biomedical issues with relevance to humans. The neuroscience building has become an exciting hub for this type of cross-disciplinary and integrative research on the Coral Gables campus.”

 

November 18, 2015