The 2017 Strongwater Endowed Chair Lecture was held on May 5th, 2017

More than 100 faculty, post-doc, students and staff from Rutgers, Kessler & Princeton attended the 2017 Charlotte & Murray Strongwater Endowed Lecture. BHI was also honored that Amy & Steven Temares, the donors who established the Endowed Chair attended the event. The lecture was held in the Main Auditorium of the Daniel Kessler Teaching labs in Piscataway.  Dr. Joshua Gordon, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health gave a very interesting lecture on "On Being a Circuit Psychiatrist". The lecture was live broadcast to NJMS, CMBN (RU-newark), RU-Camden,VA Research Center, East Orange, Kessler Research Institute, West Orange and Princeton University.

The Rutgers-Princeton CCNP Inaugural Mini-Symposium was held on May 5th, 2017

More than 40 faculty, post-doc, students and staff from Rutgers & Princeton attended the CCNP Inaugural Mini-Symposium held in the Research Tower on Busch campus. BHI was also honored that the symposium was attended by Steven Temares, the donor who established the Strongwater Endowed Chair, as well as Dr. Joshua Gordon, the Director of NIMH. Drs. Steve Silverstein and Molly Erickson (from Rutgers) and Nathaniel Daw and Yael Niv (from Princeton) gave very interesting talks that engendered very good discussions.

BHI Plans a New Addiction Research Center

Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record, and the majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involved an opioid. Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids—including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin—nearly quadrupled, and over 165,000 people have died from prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription pain medication deaths remain far too high, and in 2014, the most recent year on record, there was a sharp increase in heroin-involved deaths and an increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Heroin deaths in New Jersey are up 160 percent since 2010, with more than 1,200 overdose-related deaths last year alone which is 3-times the national average. In 2015, more than 28,000 New Jerseyans sought treatment for heroin or opioid abuse, significantly outpacing previous year’s figures. The heroin death rate in five counties – Camden, Ocean, Cape May, Union, and Middlesex – significantly exceeds the number of treatment beds available per 100,000 people.

The Rutgers Addiction Research Center (ARC) will build collaborations among scientists with the multidisciplinary expertise required to advance our understanding of the causes of opioid addiction. Housed within the Rutgers Brain Health Institute, ARC will be composed of faculty across all Rutgers schools and campuses with expertise in addiction prevention, research, treatment, education, and public policy, especially including Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), School of Arts and Sciences, Center for Alcohol Studies, Center for Tobacco Studies, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, School of Nursing, University Behavioral Health Care, School of Pharmacy, and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. ARC will be the only comprehensive addiction center in NJ with the capacity to impact the addiction epidemic through the diverse strengths of its members by integrating the following cutting edge approaches:

  • Precision Medicine research and knowledge development that crosses multiple disciplines and addresses individual differences and needs in addiction treatment.
  • Treatment and care of individuals and families coping with addiction.
  • Public policy innovation and reform aimed at preventing development of drug use and at more effective avenues for addicts to obtain treatment.
  • Training of tomorrow's research, clinical, and criminal justice workforces in all aspects of addiction science.

Several On-going BHI Faculty Recruitments

To strengthen neuroscience at Rutgers, BHI is currently in the midst of recruiting new faculty in each of the four focus areas. The recruitments include-

  • The Greg Brown Endowed Chair in Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of a new human fMRI Center in Piscataway.
  • The Herbert C. and Jacqueline Krieger Klein Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease and Neurodegeneration Research.
  • The Director of the new Rutgers University Center for Autism Research (RuCARes).
  • A junior/mid-level faculty position in Motivational Neuroscience.

Several highly qualified candidates are visiting Rutgers this Fall & Winter for these positions.


BHI Post-doc awarded 2016-2017 Banting Fellowship

Mohsen Omrani, PhD, post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Gary Aston-Jones lab at BHI was award the prestigious Banting Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The two-year Can$ 140,000 award is for a grant application entitled- "Neuromodulators and modification of cognitive functions: role of norepinephrine in sensory processing"

Rutgers-NJMS post-doc awarded JDRF fellowship

Vishwendra Patel, MD,PhD, post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Vanessa Routh's lab received a 3 year $188,000 fellowship from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for his project- "The role of perifornical hypothalamic orexin-glucose inhibited neurons in hypoglycemia awareness".