Centers & Initiatives

Carney Institute for Brain Science

The Carney Institute for Brain Science (Carney) advances multidisciplinary research, technology development, and training in the brain sciences and works to establish Brown University as an internationally recognized leader in brain research. Carney Institute unites more than 100 faculty from a diverse group of departments at Brown, spanning basic and clinical departments, and physical and biological sciences. Carney Institute provides a mechanism to advance interdisciplinary research efforts among this broad group. Carney Institute provides essential support to obtain and administer multi-investigator grants for research, infrastructure, and training. The Institute actively seeks new training funds to support interdisciplinary education that transcends that available in individual academic departments.

As one of its core missions, the Institute is developing and supporting a series of interdisciplinary research centers that focus on established or emerging areas of excellence in brain research at Brown. Each center bridges the physical and life sciences, and encompasses basic and translational research, including clinical application. The Center for Vision Research was created in 2007. Initiatives in Neurotechnology and in Synaptic and Neurodegenerative Disease are underway. Carney Institute has also established an MRI Research Facility and an Behavioral Analysis Core Facility.

The existence of Brain Science as an overall organizing entity for a series of research centers and core facilities demonstrates the university's ongoing support for brain science research at Brown. This commitment will help to attract top faculty and students to Brown, enable higher quality research and establish Brown as a worldwide leader in brain science.



Brown Initiative for Computation in Brain and Mind

Computational methods have been enormously productive for understanding complexities inherent in natural systems — from the weather to aerodynamics, physics, and biology. The brain is perhaps the most complex (and interesting!) of these systems. The problem of understanding the relationship between brain and mind is so immensely complex that a close interaction among theorists and experimentalists is required to gain a deeper understanding of fundamental brain and cognitive processes. Because of the many levels spanning from molecules to cognition, multiple levels of computer simulations – from those focused on details of neuronal function to those focused on the abstract computations that emerge from these networks – can be fruitfully applied to bridge this gap. Brown's Computation in Brain and Mind is a place where these types of interactions regularly occur across faculty members and across students at all levels.



Data Science Initiative

Brown’s Data Science Initiative (DSI) is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between four core foundational departments (Applied Mathematics, Biostatistics, Computer Science, and Mathematics) to catalyze data-enabled science and scholarship across the campus. The collaborations between these departments deepens Brown’s the data science expertise, and creates new opportunities for innovation in both the methods and the applications of Data Science.

Brown’s Data Science Initiative leverages established academic strength to build a campus hub for research and education in foundational methodologies of data science, maintaining an outward focus on application areas and critical engagement with questions of the impact of the data revolution on society, culture, and social justice. For more info, see here.



Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative    

The Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative (HCRI) is a group of Brown University faculty, students, and affiliates dedicated to robotics as a means to tackle the problems the world faces today. Beyond pursuing the goal of technological advancement, HCRI wants to ensure that these advancements are applicable and beneficial economically and socially. HCRI is working across many disciplines to document the societal needs and applications of human-robot interaction research as well as the ethical, legal, and economic questions that will arise with its development. Their research ultimately aims to help create and understand robots that coexist harmoniously with humans.