One of the more interesting developments on campus this year is the growth and change at The Mind Research Network.
Technically MRN is an independent non-profit entity, located in Pete and Nancy Domenici Hall on the UNM north campus. However, work at MRN is closely entwined with the university community; it hosts professors, many of whom hold dual appointments in UNM departments such as electrical and computer engineering, and is a laboratory in which 20 graduate students work with researchers. There are also more than 100 undergraduate students currently volunteer at MRN; these students work with a principal investigator throughout the academic year.
Last spring MRN hosted the “Domenici Neuroscience Symposium on Neuroscience for National Security” in Washington. The purpose was to raise the profile of MRN in Washington D.C. and to let the public know that MRN is now doing research in neurosystems engineering in addition to its research into brain disorders. MRN drew a number of speakers from industry and research entities and showcased MRN researchers in a variety of areas.
UNM worked with MRN to produce audio recordings of the conference. Here’s a great chance to hear about everything from the latest research in Traumatic Brain Injury to new training techniques that may allow soldiers to quickly identify threats. Just putting together the audio lectures was a fascinating experience. It made me want to learn more about work at MRN.
Normally this kind of research is done by individuals at various institutions. MRN is trying to concentrate a group of researchers working in neurosystems engineering.
Financially, things are going well at MRN. The non-profit corporation has over $75 million in active awards, about $10 million in pending grants, and several active applications for grants in progress. Research collaboration with organizations like MRN is what makes UNM a more interesting place to be and lots of fun to write about.