To that end he has created a new Center for Neuroscience Initiatives (CNI) at Columbia to catalyze the further growth and development of neuroscience at the university. The CNI, which is headed by Tom Jessell, has played a critical role in the formation of the new Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, the Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease, and the Gatsby Initiative in Brain Circuitry. It currently is leading a national search for new faculty members for the Department of Neuroscience. The goal of this search is to recruit investigators who study the development, organization and function of neural circuits using modern, cutting-edge biophysical, cellular imaging, and molecular genetic approaches. The 5th floor of the Hammer Health Sciences Building has been renovated for these new faculty members. Randy Bruno, the first recruit, joined the Department in September, 2007. A parallel search is underway to recruit an additional theoretician to join the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience and the Department of Neuroscience. Intermediate-term plans call for an additional round of four new neuroscience recruits. Long-term plans call for a new building to house all members of the Department of Neuroscience.
Columbia will build a new campus in the Manhattanville area of West Harlem, between the Morningside Heights and the Health Sciences Campus. The first building planned for this site is the Jerome L. Greene Science Center. Upon its anticipated completion in 2013, this building will house the Department of Neuroscience.
President Bollinger has unveiled plans for a new, university-wide Program in Mind, Brain and Behavior, which will reach beyond the biomedical community to faculty in computational sciences, nanotechnology, bioengineering, physics, chemistry, psychology, anthropology, philosophy social sciences, and the arts. Its goal will be to advance our understanding of the workings of the mind and brain in the broadest possible terms. This program will be led by Tom Jessell, Richard Axel and Eric Kandel. The new Greene Science Center will play a key role in this mission by hosting not only the new Department of Neuroscience, but also faculty from other schools and departments who wish to interact with neuroscientists.