NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Pershing Square Foundation has announced the opening of applications for the 2024 MIND (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery) Prize. Since the Prize launched in 2023, it has been awarded to seven multidisciplinary investigators from institutions across the country. The annual prize awards $250,000 per year for three years ($750,000 total) to at least six scientists looking to uncover a deeper understanding of the brain and cognition. The Prize is meant to enable the most talented early-to-mid-career investigators to pursue bold, creative projects that could have transformative impacts on the field of brain research.
“Neurodegenerative diseases are like the Eldredge knot, nearly impossible to untie. Stemming from compromised cellular pathways, neural circuit dysfunctions, genetic risk factors, pathological epigenetic landscapes; these networked ailments are tightly coupled and profoundly intertwined,” said The Pershing Square Foundation Co-Trustee Neri Oxman, PhD.
“The MIND Prize calls for the creation of a road map to enable the understanding of related pathologies at a cellular and molecular level; to develop a single yet holistic theory blending genetics, environmental insults, and viruses, and to comprehend the body’s natural defenses against NDDs. Through MIND—and its community—we seek to disentangle cause-and-effect and offer radically novel insights into disease prevention and treatment. We believe in unforeseen visions made possible by interdisciplinary and trans-modal approaches that combine genetics with mobility, applied physics with neurodegeneration, memory and AI, and more.”
“The Pershing Square Foundation remains fueled by the urgency of this vast problem, and the individuals—across ages and disease states—whose lives this work could and should transform. We are humbled to support this Prize and are proud of the bold work set forth by the first cohort of grantees,” continued Oxman.
Applicants must have between one and ten years of experience running their own laboratories by the award start date (May 2024), hold a PhD, MD, or MD-PhD (or degree equivalent), and be affiliated with a research institution in the United States of America. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is November 13, 2023 at 5:00pm EST. For more details on the MIND Prize and the application process, including the full eligibility criteria, a link to FAQs, and a link to the application submission platform, please visit: https://pershingsquarefoundation.org/portfolio-organization/mind-prize/.
The highly competitive MIND Prize will catalyze novel and daring interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work by facilitating collaborations across academic departments and institutions and amongst the academic, biomedical industry, philanthropic, and business communities. These breakthroughs in basic, fundamental research will help augment the toolkit for, and knowledge of, neurodegenerative and neurocognitive disorders. Projects may range from the invention of novel tools, techniques, and technologies for mapping and analyzing the brain to bold approaches that demonstrate extraordinary therapeutic potential.
“Our first year of the MIND Prize impressed us with the remarkable talent across the country,” said Olivia Tournay Flatto, PhD, President of The Pershing Square Foundation and Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance. “This year, we are looking forward to receiving more bold proposals from researchers who aren’t afraid to tackle an old problem in a new way, that compel us to find new paths forward in the fields of neurobiology, immunology, engineering, computational biology, and more. We are grateful to our Scientific Advisory Board, which includes experts spanning across scientific disciplines, ready to help The Pershing Square Foundation uncover transformative and novel projects from investigators ready to change the field as we know it.”
"The MIND Prize is allowing me to start projects that otherwise I wouldn't be able to do with traditional funding sources,” said 2023 MIND Prize winner Sergey Stavisky, PhD, Assistant Professor at University of California, Davis, “It's letting me do something that's very hard, that's risky, that hasn't been done before, and to do it at a much earlier stage of my career."
The MIND Prize is proud to rely on the guidance of a highly accomplished scientific advisory board:
Paola Arlotta, PhD, Golub Family Professor and Chair of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University
Richard Axel, MD, Nobel Laureate; Co-director, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University; University Professor, Columbia University; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Ed Boyden, PhD, Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT; MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Ali Brivanlou, PhD, Robert & Harriet Heilbrunn Professor, Head of Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology, and Synthetic Embryology, The Rockefeller University; Co-founder, Rumi Scientific Inc.
Navdeep Chandel, PhD, David W. Cugell Professor of Medicine & Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Moses Chao, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology, Physiology & Neuroscience, and Psychiatry, NYU Langone School of Medicine
George Church , PhD, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Founding Core Faculty & Lead, Synthetic Biology, Wyss Institute at Harvard University
Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Pfizer, Inc.
Juan Enriquez, Managing Director, Excel Venture Management; Bestselling Author; TED All-Star
Fred “Rusty” Gage, PhD, Professor, Laboratory of Genetics, Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Richard Isaacson, MD, Director of Brain Health, Atria Institute; Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medicine
Dean Kamen, Founder, FIRST; President, DEKA Research & Development Corporation
Sergiu Pasca, MD, Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Bonnie Uytengsu and Family Director of the Stanford Brain Organogenesis Program, Stanford University
James Rothman, PhD, Nobel Laureate; Sterling Professor of Cell Biology; Chair, Cell Biology; Professor of Chemistry; Director, Nanobiology Institute, Yale University
Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD, Alice and Rodman W. Moorhead III Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
Joshua Sanes, PhD, Jeff Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology; Founding Director, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University
Scott A. Small, MD, Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center; Boris and Rose Katz Professor of Neurology, The Taub Institute, The Sergievsky Center; Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Beth Stevens, PhD, HHMI Investigator; Institute Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Lavine Family Research Chair, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children’s Hospital
Bruce Stillman, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Richard Tsien, PhD, Director, Neuroscience Institute; Chair and Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, NYU Langone Medical Center
Stacie Weninger, PhD, President, FBRI
George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron
Michael Young, PhD, Nobel Laureate; Vice President for Academic Affairs, Richard and Jeanne Fisher Professor, Head of Laboratory of Genetics, The Rockefeller University
Feng Zhang, PhD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT; James and Patricia Poitras Professor in Neuroscience, MIT; Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering, MIT
About The Pershing Square Foundation
The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) is a family foundation established in 2006 to support exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable global impact. PSF has committed more than $600 million in grants and social investments in target areas including health and medicine, education, economic development and social justice. Bill Ackman and Neri Oxman are co-trustees of the Foundation. For more information visit: www.pershingsquarefoundation.org.