UVA Brain Institute

UVA Brain draws upon talented faculty and students across the University to develop better methods for understanding the brain; seek new ways to prevent, treat, and cure brain diseases and injury; and teach what they have learned.

“We are building on broad strength and recent breakthroughs at UVA in several areas related to brain science and education,” explains UVA Brain Director Jaideep Kapur, MD, a world-renown epilepsy physician-scientist. The institute will focus teams in key areas: brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, autism, and traumatic brain injury (TBI); neuroimmunology; sensory biology; and integrative neuroscience research.

How will it work? Consider traumatic brain injury, Kapur explains. At UVA, a mechanical engineer studies the impact of injury on the mechanics of the brain. A sports medicine researcher looks to distinguish between minor and serious injuries on the playing field. A neuropsychologist studies TBI’s effects on mental capacity and behavior in order to influence health policy.

“Neuro research has often been performed alone in small labs. When you bring these people together to share what they have learned, we have a much better chance of understanding the impact of these injuries on patients and how best to treat, or even prevent, them in the future,” he says.

In addition, the institute will offer more undergrads a taste of neuroscience research by expanding UVA’s undergraduate science degree program and providing summer fellowships. A new lecture series will also be launched.