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Columbia plans to develop a new research institute – the Columbia Neuroscience Institute – as the first phase of a comprehensive Mind, Brain and Behavior Initiative. This initiative is designed to link the discoveries of basic neuroscience research to new therapies for neurological and psychological disorders. The Columbia Neuroscience Institute will focus on one of the central challenges of contemporary neural science: the relationship among neural circuitry, human behavior, and brain disease. To achieve this synthesis, the institute will engage in new experimental and conceptual approaches that forge more effective links between molecular and system-based analyses of neural circuits.

President Lee Bollinger announced the creation of the new institute in his opening remarks at the Brain and Mind Symposium.

"The study of the brain and how it works is clearly central not only to the curing of disease, but also to the understanding that we bring to virtually every area of life – the social sciences, the professions and the humanities," Mr. Bollinger said. "And it is Columbia's goal to try to bring as many scientific advances as we possibly can to this area and also to integrate it with other areas of knowledge."