Emory Report
January 29, 2007
Volume 59, Number 17

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January 29 , 2007
Neuroscience, Human Nature and Society
by robin tricoles

Beginning this year, more than 250 faculty members from 23 departments and centers across the University will integrate the study of basic and clinical neurosciences with the aim of transforming Emory into a premier center for comprehensive neuroscience training. The Neuroscience Education Initiative will provide undergraduate and doctoral students, medical residents and fellows with unprecedented opportunities to train in integrative clinical and basic neurosciences.

This novel approach of blending teaching, training and research in the neurosciences in the College, the Graduate School and professional schools will allow for robust growth and development of all areas in neuroscience, including neuroethics and public policy, community outreach and translational neuroscience. The initiative also will allow the different neuroscience-related units at Emory to work together as an intellectual and social community and join their complementary strengths.

A focus on imaging, brain function and therapeutics will be enhanced with the arrival of scientist Sam Gandy in July as its newest Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Gandy is an internationally recognized expert whose latest research involves the development of vaccines for Alzheimer’s disease.

“Dr. Gandy’s passion for translating basic research into medical applications that benefit patients is perfectly aligned with the missions of both Emory and the GRA,” said Allan Levey, chair of neurology in the School of Medicine. “By any measure, he has been a remarkably successful scientist. His body of work has had a major impact in the field of Alzheimer’s research and continues to influence investigators and policy makers throughout the world.”

Gandy will direct Emory’s Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and will join the leadership of Emory’s NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He also will work closely with scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Gandy opened a new vista in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease when he and his colleagues discovered the first drugs that could lower formation of amyloid, the sticky substance that clogs the brain in patients with Alzheimer’s. He also is recognized for his discoveries involving estrogen and testosterone and their role in plaque formation in the brain.

Currently director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University, Gandy also serves as chair of the Alzheimer’s Association’s National Medical and Scientific Advisory Council.