BOYS TOWN, Neb., April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Boys Town National Research Hospital is revolutionizing child and teen brain research at the new Institute for Human Neuroscience, which opened in March 2021. The Institute is in a brand-new 15,000+ square foot research facility specifically built for this group of researchers and their state-of-the-art equipment. As one of the most cutting-edge neuroscience research facilities in the nation it includes a high-performance research-grade Siemens Prisma MRI and two next-generation MEG (magnetoencephalography) systems.
Tony Wilson, Ph.D., tapped to lead the new Institute, has also been named the Patrick E. Brookhouser Endowed Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at Boys Town National Research Hospital®.
"One of the main reasons we came to Boys Town was the opportunity to build an incredible institute in an amazing environment. As the only site in the world with two next-generation MEG Neo systems, we'll have twice the capacity for major discoveries in pediatric neuroscience and neurotherapeutics and be able to impact the lives of children and families directly," said Wilson.
Wilson brings a team of almost 50 research scientists and staff who will work to understand how the brain changes as kids move through puberty and into young adulthood. The group will also study the impact of traumatic experiences on brain development and the brain changes associated with the emergence of psychiatric conditions like anxiety disorders, depression or schizophrenia.
The Institute of Human Neuroscience aligns directly with Boys Town's mission and growth of its Pediatric Neuroscience program. The emphasis will be on pediatric brain health and contribute directly to improved outcomes in children receiving care by our neurologists, neurosurgeons and behavioral health teams.
For example, MEG is FDA approved for use in identifying the focus of epileptic seizures. It will allow neuroscience researchers to pinpoint the origin of such seizures, which can then be removed through surgery to maximize positive outcomes.
When the Institute is fully operational it will house nine to ten different laboratories and between 100 to 120 researchers, all under one roof. Each lab will focus on different sub-areas of human neuroscience using MRI, MEG, and other state-of-the-art methods. Each laboratory will function independently, studying different disorders, different populations, and different therapeutics.
"We're so excited to work in such a collaborative environment," noted Wilson. "We think it's going to give rise to a lot of great science that wouldn't have otherwise occurred."
"At Boys Town National Research Hospital our mission is to change the way America cares for children and families – and to do that, we've brought together the nation's best scientists to develop new and better treatments and intervention methods," said Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Director of Boys Town Research. "Dr. Wilson and his team bring that expertise in neuroscience. To learn more, visit boystownhospital.org/NeuroResearch
ABOUT BOYS TOWN NATIONAL RESEARCH HOSPITAL
Boys Town National Research Hospital is an international leader in research on childhood deafness, vision and communication disorders. For 40 years, Boys Town Hospital has been dedicated to providing leading edge clinical care, pioneering translational research and improving the lives of children and their families through applied technology and educational outreach programs.