Columbia University Medical Center Hosts Sixth Annual Leon Levy Fellows in Neuroscience Symposium

Early-career neuroscientists from 5 leading universities to present new research

April 19, 2017

The sixth annual gathering of Leon Levy Fellows in Neuroscience brings together premier early-career scientists at the five leading neuroscience research institutions in New York City: Columbia University Medical Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, The Rockefeller University, Mt. Sinai Icahn School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine. One scientist from each school will present original research on topics ranging from “understanding what genes are saying” to the “neuronal and behavioral responses to cocaine.”

Over 10 years, the Leon Levy Foundation has provided more than $20 million to more than 40 neuroscientists for the kind of potential-breakthrough brain science research that the government typically doesn’t fund.

This year’s symposium is hosted by Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center. Along with presentations from current fellows in the program, Leon Levy Fellowship alumni will take part in a poster session highlighting ongoing research.  A plenary talk on “Being a Circuit Psychiatrist” will be given by Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, former psychiatry faculty at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the lead federal agency for research on disorders of the brain.

“Limitations and inconsistencies in federal funding for biomedical research have had a particularly chilling effect on study of the brain and mental health,” said Dr. Lieberman. “More than ever, brilliant young scientists require the philanthropic support that the Leon Levy Foundation so generously provides.” 

With federal funds increasingly scarce, young neuroscientists are less able to venture into innovative, risk-taking investigations, opting instead for more easily funded, but potentially less groundbreaking, research. As a consequence, many promising biological researchers lack the resources to engage in the type of basic science that can lead to scientific progress. Recognizing that limited funding may place a generation of neuroscientists at risk, the Leon Levy Foundation initiated its Leon Levy Fellowship in Neuroscience to provide premier scientists with the resources they need to focus on solving the most confounding issues of the human brain. Six years and $20 million later, more than 40 Levy Fellows have added to scientific knowledge with cutting-edge brain research.

The Leon Levy Fellows in Neuroscience Symposium will take place on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY.


Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. The campus that Columbia University Medical Center shares with its hospital partner, NewYork-Presbyterian, is now called the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.  For more information, visit or


Columbia University Department of Psychiatry

Columbia Psychiatry is among the top ranked psychiatry departments in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of brain disorders. Co-located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute on the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center campus in Washington Heights, the department enjoys a rich and productive collaborative relationship with physicians in various disciplines at Columbia University’s College of Physician’s and Surgeons. Columbia Psychiatry is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders.


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