Established in 1999 as a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience works to elucidate the basic neurobiology of social behavior, memory, cognition, reward functions and positive emotional states. It is also focused on educating new generations of research scientists and the public in innovative, interdisciplinary ways.
Elliott Albers is a Regents’ Professor of Neuroscience and the director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience. Albers has published extensively on the neural basis of behavior and has served on multiple editorial boards and as a consultant for more than 30 scientific journals. His research program has been continuously funded by National Institutes of Health and/or the National Science Foundation for nearly 30 years.
The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience uses advanced techniques from brain imaging to molecular methods. Researchers in the center have identified a brain chemical that could have implications in treating autism, pioneered new methods to diagnose and treat post-traumatic stress disorder and examined brain signaling systems related to obesity. They have also determined the genetic sequence of an antimicrobial protein found in the ink of a common sea slug — a protein that could be used in the development of new products to prevent or kill damaging microbes and save the marine and healthcare industries billions of dollars each year.
Through programs such as Brain Camp for middle-schoolers, the Institute on Neuroscience for high-schoolers and BRAIN for undergraduate students, the center has created a unique pipeline approach to educating and training the next generation of neuroscientists.