Next spring, FAU’s Jupiter campus will unveil its new Neuroscience Building, a 58,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that will house the Brain Institute and more. According to Dr. Randy Blakely, executive director of the FAU Brain Institute and a professor of medical science, the new site is part of the university’s “Strategic Plan for the Race to Excellence” and FAU President John Kelly’s focus on neuroscience as a pillar that “will define the institution’s programs and create knowledge that benefits society.” Here, Blakely outlines some of the new campus’s highlights.
The Neuroscience Building will allow FAU to house 20 principal investigators/faculty; a similar number of research faculty and postdoctoral students; and about 100 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, who will each engage in state-of-the-art research training. The first floor will house the Center for Comparative Medicine, doubling FAU’s capacity for behavioral and physiological analysis. The Center will provide opportunities for scientists and their trainees to advance medication leads and dissect the impact of genetic and environmental changes on brain and behavior. On the second floor, the Center for Advanced Cell Imaging is where the visualization of brain cells will take place; super-resolution, dynamic cellular, and brain circuit visualization will merge with computational and virtual reality resources to allow researchers to peer deeply into the brain. The space will be enhanced by more than $1 million in equipment and house one of 24 Nikon Centers of Excellence worldwide.
The synergy created by bringing together the Max Planck Florida Institute, which studies fundamental aspects of brain structure and function, and FAU and its research on mechanisms perturbed in brain chemistry and physiology that can lead to brain disorders—in conjunction with Scripps Research Institute’s work on interventional strategies—makes for a powerhouse hub of neuroscience. It will also attract the world’s brightest scientists and students to Palm Beach County.