WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02) is visiting universities in Pennsylvania and New York this week as he continues a national tour engaging with leading neuroscience stakeholders and advocates across the country. The meetings and lab visits at Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and the University of Pittsburgh stem from the Congressman's work as architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative (FNI), a non-incremental policy program established in 2011 to help elevate neuroscience and brain research as national priorities.
On Wednesday afternoon Fattah visited Columbia, where he met with university administration officials, toured a neuroscience research laboratory, and received a behind-the-scenes update on the new Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, expected to open in 2016.
On Friday, Fattah will travel to Pittsburgh for visits to Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, he will receive a briefing on current neuroscience research and updates on the newly created Brain Institute at the university. Fattah will also observe demonstrations of a groundbreaking brain technology that has allowed a patient with longstanding quadriplegia to maneuver a mind-controlled robot, enabling consistent performance of everyday motion. Later at Carnegie Mellon, Fattah will meet with University President Dr. Subra Suresh and tour several brain science research labs. At CMU he will also visit a space robotics lab and participate in a demonstration by the University Transportation Center (UTC)—a joint research center with the University of Pennsylvania—of a new autonomous vehicle.
Since launching FNI and rising to Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS), Fattah has prioritized his national outreach efforts to medical professionals, advocates, and researchers joined in the fight to increase funding for neuroscience and find cures for brain diseases like autism and Alzheimer's disease. His work has largely focused on building collaborations, increasing public-private partnerships, and opening the lines of communication between leaders throughout the neuroscience field.
This week's visits come on the heels of several other briefings with university researchers around the country, including the University of California San Diego and the University of Texas.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah