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Neuroscience center dedicated

The Scripps Research Institute dedicated the Dorris Neuroscience Center last week, officially launching the newly consolidated center and honoring the woman who has supported work at the institute for many years. Her gifts include an endowment to support neuroscience research.

Helen Dorris — a mental health advocate and San Diego State University professor emeritus — made a significant gift to launch the new center through The Harold L. Dorris Neuroscience Foundation, named in her brother’s honor. The new center also consolidates and builds on two previous centers that she had made possible at Scripps Research, the Harold L. Dorris Neurological Research Center and Helen L. Dorris Institute for the Study of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders of Children and Adolescents.

Professor Ulrich Mueller, director of the new center, said it will focus on “one of the greatest challenges ever faced by science — understanding the human brain. We intend to lead the way in this research that will reveal novel strategies and targets for the treatment of nervous system disorders.”

The researchers at the new center conduct investigations that fall within two general areas of neuroscience: sensory systems (including smell, hearing and pain) and neuronal circuitry (including the systems that govern memory). Stem cell research is a further important component of the program.