University of Minnesota Showcases New Initiative on the Developing Brain

Hundreds of guests joined U of M faculty to hear about the new Developing Brain initiative.

On October 22, the University of Minnesota hosted their annual “Discovery Showcase,” which highlights new initiatives and advances there. This year’s Showcase focused entirely on “The Wonder Years,” setting the stage for the University’s launch of an institute for child and adolescent brain health, the first of its kind in the world.

Hundreds of guests attended the showcase, walking through seven exciting exhibits explaining key issues the institute would address, including counteracting trauma, curbing threats to mental health, preventing substance use and finding autism faster. The idea is, pardon the pun, a no-brainer: investing in early childhood and adolescent brain health makes for a healthier society.

University President Joan T.A. Gabel kicked off dinner at the McNamara Alumni Center following the exhibit reception. Afterward, Medical School Dean Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D. and College of Education and Human Development Dean Jean K. Quam, M.S.W., Ph.D., answered questions regarding their hopes for the institute and why it is the perfect time for it.

“The University leads in areas of developmental neuroscience, brain biology, pediatrics, child psychology,” said Dr. Tolar. “Joining these forces together will have a true multiplier effect. This is what makes us uniquely qualified to create a world-class institute.”