Singh to Help Lead Campuswide Neuro Next Initiative

Posted September 19, 2023

This fall, Georgia Tech will launch a foundational interdisciplinary program to lead in neuroscience, neurotechnology, and society research, and the Ivan Allen College’s own Jennifer Singh is helping lead the way.

Singh, an associate professor in the School of History and Sociology, is one of three faculty members leading the new Neuro Next initiative. The effort is the result of the growth of GTNeuro, a grassroots effort over many years that led to the hiring of faculty studying the brain, the creation of a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience in the College of Sciences, and has contributed to exciting neuro-related research and education at Georgia Tech.

Neurosciences research holds enormous potential for wide-ranging health and societal impact, and Georgia Tech’s culture of applied research and integrated interdisciplinary liberal arts scholarship is uniquely positioned to create the environment in which Neuro Next can become an international leader in the discovery, innovation, and translation in neuroscience and neurotechnology.

“Neuro Next is an important and exciting initiative that is prioritizing the inclusion of a range disciplinary expertise, including social science, humanities, business, and the arts, to critically investigate how we can research and develop neurotechnologies that are accessible, responsible, and socially just,” said Singh, whose research focuses on autism disparities. “Building a collaborative neurocommunity that centers societal impacts from the start shares the commitment of Georgia Tech to developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.”

Singh is joined by Christopher Rozell, professor and Julian T. Hightower Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Simon Sponberg, Dunn Family Associate Professor of Physics and Biological Sciences, in leading the initiative. They will work to develop a community that supports collaborative research, unique educational initiatives, and public engagement in this critical field.

“Georgia Tech has a very strong, but decentralized, neuroscience community,” said Sponberg. “The Neuro Next Initiative really sprung from a lot of thoughtful input from dozens of people across many schools, colleges, and roles, which reflects how neuro interfaces so broadly. Our goal with this initiative is really to open a new front door to the neuro community here, to highlight the leadership that Georgia Tech is already taking in many areas of neuro-related research, and to create new ways to support our interdisciplinary work.”

Rozell said there are few areas of research that have as much potential impact on society as studying the human brain.

“Georgia Tech is uniquely positioned to build on its existing strengths to create an effort tailored to meet the scientific, technical, and social needs of these promising research trajectories. I’m excited that the Neuro Next Initiative represents the next step in creating that collaborative community.” By bringing together a diverse cohort of faculty experts from varied disciplines, members aim to create a holistic, integrative, and inclusive approach to neuroscience and neurotechnology that centers real human impact and broad accessibility.

The initiative will formally launch with an event on Oct. 25.

Faculty who want to participate in the initiative can express their interest by responding to a survey form.

A version of this story appeared first on the Georgia Tech News Center.

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Jennifer Singh, associate professor in the School of History and Sociology.

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Christa M. Ernst
Research Communications Services