Advancing Basic Science for Humanity
University of California, San Francisco
Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience
The Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience (Kavli IFN) builds new, cross-disciplinary teams of scientists and engineers to tackle the hardest problems in neuroscience. It’s central research theme is neuroplasticity – the brain’s extraordinary ability to change over time. The Institute's researchers aim to answer fundamental questions such as: How are plasticity and stability established? How is their balance maintained throughout our lifetime? And, importantly, how does that plasticity enable us to adapt our behavior?
The Kavli IFN aims to push the boundaries of interdisciplinary research to make breakthrough discoveries. It has established direct linkages between neuroscientists at UCSF and engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to develop transformative brain research tools. Its neuroscientists also collaborate with the University of California Quantitative Biology Institute (QB3), where scientists use physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering to makes sense of complex biological systems.
The co-directors of Kavli IFN are Loren Frank, professor of physiology, and Roger Nicoll, professor of molecular and cellular pharmacology and of physiology. The Institute brings together 36 world-class researchers with neuroscience expertise spanning molecular biology, genetics, neural circuits, behavior, computation and theory, as well as nanoscience and engineering.
The activities of the Kavli IFN include a technology core to facilitate collaborations and the development and integration of new technologies; a pilot grant program to promote collaborations between neuroscientists, computer scientists, computational biologists and engineers; a mentoring and support program for junior faculty, post-docs and graduate students; and outreach efforts such as a course on scientific writing.