The Robert J. & Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science is committed to supporting research and facilitating collaborations in brain science across the Brown University community. A top priority of the institute is to build on our collective successes in generating funding for brain science and strengthening departments. The institute launched in 2019 an ambitious 10-year strategic plan.


Our mission is to promote discovery and innovation in brain science by supporting a diverse community of experimentalists, theorists, engineers, and clinical scientists. We do this by recruiting and retaining world-class faculty, creating an outstanding collaborative training environment, seeding innovative projects, supporting collaborative teams, and raising the visibility and reputation of Carney researchers.


Our vision is to become a global leader in brain science, recognized for excellence, innovation, and discovery, and applying knowledge to improve lives and benefit society.

About Robert J. Carney and Nancy D. Carney

Robert J. Carney graduated in Brown’s undergraduate Class of 1961. He is founder and chairman of Vacation Publications, Inc. Previously he was a founder of Jet Capital Corp., a financial advisory firm, and Texas Air Corp, which owned Continental Airlines and several other airlines. Nancy Doerr Carney is a former television news producer.

The Carneys, of Houston, are longtime supporters of Brown, including as the donors of the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney University Professorship in Economics, the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Assistant Professorship, and the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Innovation Fund. Robert Carney’s generous volunteer service to Brown includes a long-term tenure as a trustee of the Corporation of Brown University and having served as the co-chair of his class’s 50th Reunion gift committee.

A $100 million namesake gift in 2018 from Brown University alumnus Robert J. Carney and Nancy D. Carney established the institute as one of the best-endowed university brain institutes in the country. This gift will drive our research agenda, from studying genes and circuits, to healthy behavior, to brain disorders.