Could the Body’s Own Defense Against ALS Actually Drive Disease Progression?

From the lab of Tom Maniatis, PhD, Columbia's Zuckerman Institute

Differences in disease progression in spinal interneurons, a type of nerve cell that generally succumbs to ALS in later stages of disease. Left: Normal ALS models, showing protein aggregation (red/green) in spinal interneurons. Right: autophagy-suppressed ALS models, showing virtually no aggregation (Credit: Tom Maniatis/Columbia's Zuckerman Institute).

A Mind to Discover

At Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, we believe that understanding how the brain works — and gives rise to mind and behavior — is the most urgent and exciting challenge of our time. Led by Nobel laureates Eric Kandel, MD, and Richard Axel, MD, we study critical aspects of the mind and brain, gaining insights that promise to benefit people and societies everywhere.

Our Science: We explore how the brain develops, performs, endures and recovers.


Learning from Experience

Professor Daphna Shohamy, PhD, studies learning and memory — both how we memorize facts and how we slowly learn habits. She has discovered that there’s a lot more “cross-talk” between these two forms of learning than previously thought, raising questions about what different parts of the brain are doing as we learn, and how what we learn affects the decisions we make.

Scientific Platforms: The tools, facilities and people that make our research possible.

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Mar 9 2019 1:00 pm

Saturday Science: Healthy Brain, Happy Brain

Come and be curious, play and learn about brain health.

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Public Programs


Connecting high school students with scientists for intensive summer lab internships

2018 BRAINYAC students show off their posters after presenting their research to the Columbia community (Credit: Eileen Barroso/Columbia University).


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Columbia Neuroscience Seminar Series

Sparking the conversations that drive science forward

Elaine Hsiao, PhD, Assistant Professor of Integrative Biology & Physiology at UCLA, speaks a recent seminar (Credit: Sirin Samman for Columbia's Zuckerman Institute)

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Our Mission

At Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, our mission is to decipher the brain. From effective treatments for disorders like Alzheimer’s and autism to advances in fields as fundamental as economics, the arts, and law, the potential for humanity is staggering.

Jerome L. Greene Science Center (Credit: Frank Oudeman/Columbia University).


Peeling Back the Brain's Layers

Associate Professor Randy Bruno recently discovered that the upper and lower regions of the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that controls higher brain functions) work independently — despite the fact that they are tightly interconnected. He is now leading efforts to identify the behavioral roles each distinct region plays both in health and in disease.