April 3, 2018 –  The Leon Levy Fellowship in Neuroscience symposium brought together premier early-career scientists at the five leading neuroscience research institutions in New York City:  Columbia University Irving Medical CenterNYU Langone HealthIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Weill Cornell Medicine. One scientist from each school presented original research on topics ranging from “Large-scale brain dynamics underlying perceptual awarenessto the “Astrocytic control of behavior and long-term plasticity.”

The Rockefeller University’s President, Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., delivered the opening remarks, and Co-Director, Shelby White and Leon Levy Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior, Mary E. Hatten, PhD. introduced the presenters throughout the day.  Following the presentations from current fellows in the program, a poster session was held to highlight their ongoing research and promote discussion and collaboration among all the attendees.

Rockefeller’s Michael W. Young, a 2017 Nobel laureate, gave the plenary talk on how genes control sleep and circadian rhythms. Dr. Young is a recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physicology or Medicine, and the 25th scientist associated with Rockefeller University to be honored with the Nobel Prize.

With federal funds increasingly scarce, young neuroscientists are less able to venture into innovative, risk-taking investigations, opting instead for more easily funded, but potentially less groundbreaking, research. As a consequence, many promising biological researchers lack the resources to engage in the type of basic science that can lead to scientific progress. Recognizing that limited funding may place a generation of neuroscientists at risk, the Leon Levy Foundation initiated its Leon Levy Fellowship in Neuroscience to provide premier scientists with the resources they need to focus on solving the most confounding issues of the human brain. Nine years and $26 million later, more than 50 Levy Fellows have added to scientific knowledge with cutting-edge brain research.

Since its inception, the Leon Levy Foundation has provided more than $26 million to more than 50 neuroscientists for the kind of potential-breakthrough brain science research that the government typically doesn’t fund.