The focus of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute is clear: It’s all about the science. Basic science leads to discoveries that lay the foundation for new treatments and cures for brain disorders. That is why the Brain Institute is organized to provide critical support for Pitt’s community of basic neuroscientists (more than 150 strong, and counting!) in their quest to unravel the mysteries of normal and abnormal brain function.

We face the same dilemma with every major neurological problem —Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, addiction, mental illness – in that while we can detect these disorders, and we can describe their natural history of progression, we can do little else. This situation has gone unchanged for more than 40 years, and without research at the most basic level we will be stuck without effective treatments and preventive measures 20 years from now. New treatments and cures won’t come until we lay the scientific foundation for them.

To accomplish that mission, the Brain Institute strives to inspire and encourage Pitt’s community of accomplished neuroscientists as they tackle the tough problems our society faces. No single scientist or approach is destined to find all the answers, so multidisciplinary collaboration and collegiality is a hallmark of our strategy. We support the many centers of excellence that already exist at Pitt and aim to create new areas of expertise, such as the Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research and the Assault on Alzheimer’s program. We plan to launch innovative programs research on the neurobiology of violence, addiction, and the development of the brain from its very first cell.

We are committed to providing an academic environment that fosters curiosity, engagement and innovation and to stimulate high-risk, high-reward neuroscience that benefits our entire community. We welcome your participation!







Peter L. Strick, PhD, Scientific Director 








Arthur S. Levine, MD, Executive Director