The “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” – Pursuing the Frontiers of Brain Science

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at the University of Connecticut  is excited to report on the beginnings of the “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” program and extends our thanks to the Kavli Foundation for their generous gift in the amount of $10,000.

This program aims to serve as an incubator to UConn Health, affiliated institutions and investigators in the preparation of proposals to the national BRAIN Initiative.

Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative funding opportunities for research, study, applied science and technology are channeled through the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation.

As a national initiative with an initial federal commitment of $100 million in FY 2014, it is clear that the Obama administration believes in the future of this research. A further demonstration of commitment comes from a recent press release concerning FY 2015 funding:

“The President’s 2015 Budget proposes to double the Federal investment in The BRAIN Initiative from about $100 million in FY 2014 to approximately $200 million in FY 2015.

Given the audacious goals of the initiative, the President has called for this to be an “all hands on deck” effort involving not only the Federal Government but also companies, health systems, patient advocacy organizations, philanthropists, state governments, research universities, private research institutes, and scientific societies.”

Supporting our effort to identify and secure funding available through the BRAIN initiative is our own Investigator Advocate and Assistant Professor, Dr. Tao Jiang. Dr. Jiang  held the first official “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” program on Friday, April 4th at UConn Health. He was joined by four senior investigators, Drs. David Steffens, Richard Mains, Louise McCullough and Douglas Oliver. The group discussed strengths and possible opportunities of UConn’s neuroscience-related research and outlined a focus for response to future funding opportunities for the BRAIN Initiative.

The next step is to have a follow-up “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” in May with the inclusion of more investigators from both UConn Health and UConn Storrs for deeper discussions on the BRAIN Initiative.

The time is yet to be determined and the meeting location is tentatively in downtown Hartford area.

Please inform your colleagues who may be interested in joining the “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” and contact Dr. Jiang at or 860-679-7161 with any inquiries.