RUTHERFORD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At a special presentation at the General Assembly, Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) introduced “The Next Frontier: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain” during the 2010 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting on November 15 in San Diego. “The Next Frontier: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain,” is a united public and private research campaign to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure all major brain disorders that afflict close to 100 million Americans today.
Congressman Kennedy has proven himself a dedicated advocate of health care reform and has co-authored legislation that places mental illness under the umbrella of health insurance. The meeting host, Society for Neuroscience, awarded him the Public Service Award in 2002 and the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance have distinguished his service with additional awards of recognition.
Kennedy’s address outlined the key components of the “The Next Frontier,” the title of which is a nod to President Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to conquer the vast frontier of space exploration. As with that challenge “The Next Frontier: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain,” is a 10-year joint project and will officially commence at a two-day conference at Massachusetts General Hospital on May 23 – 24 and conclude with a major address at the John F. Kennedy Library on May 25, 2011, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s space challenge.
Critical components of the future of brain research as outlined by Congressman Kennedy include a Human Brain Genome Atlas Project, a Brain Disorder Genome Project, a Brain Observatory, a Human Neuro-Taxonomy Project, and the Human Connectome Project to discover the wiring map of the brain’s neural network.
Leading the need for “The Next Frontier” project is America’s responsibility to the more than 360,000 American soldiers and veterans who have returned from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The Next Frontier” has built major consensus among the various entities that conduct research into specific brain diseases and will coordinate their work into one major effort. A campaign to elevate the discussion to illnesses of the brain as a single topic commenced in Washington, DC on July 29, 2010, and 35 agencies, research organizations and advocacy groups involved in brain and brain functions have signed on. Leading scientists, top research labs and universities are behind the project including, among many others, Nobel Laureates Stanley Prusiner and James Watson.
To elevate the discussion and provide national importance for this project, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Domestic Policy Subcommittee convened hearings on September 29, 2010 in Washington, DC. Copies of the testimony presented is available at www.moonshot.org.
The goal of the Campaign is to reach an incremental $5 billion in private funding over the next 10 years and at least $10 billion of federal funds in the same period.
For more information on “The Next Frontier: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain,” please visit www.moonshot.org.
The Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, begun in 1971, is the premier venue for neuroscientists from around the world to debut and share cutting-edge research and breakthroughs in the study of the brain and nervous system with colleagues from top destinations throughout North America. Over 30,000 scientists from around the world attended.
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