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CBN Research Productivity Continues Sharp Climb

At the CBN’s inception in 1999, its leaders set out to create a consortium of diverse colleges and universities united in the common goal of supporting research in behavioral neuroscience and creating a “team-based” research environment.

Not only did the CBN succeed in reaching these goals, but results have and continue to exceed expectations. As the Center heads into its eighth year as a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, CBN investigators have amassed an impressive amount of research funding and publication numbers, proving the Center has become a major funding and intellectual resource to the behavioral neuroscience community.

In 2006, the number of research publications produced by the Center’s researchers increased 50 percent, continuing a striking record of a 50 percent increase each year since 2003. Also, within the last year, CBN researchers gave more than 408 professional presentations around the world, and more than 40 new grants were seeded through CBN support.

“These numbers are evidence that the Center has taken major steps toward our goal of forming a community of faculty and students from diverse institutions in Atlanta and supporting their research and education in behavioral neuroscience,” said CBN Director Elliott Albers.

Another monumental accomplishment is the Center’s record of leveraging venture funds into external funding. Since 1999, $1.6 million in venture funds provided by the CBN has generated a whopping $40 million in support from external sources for Center researchers.

“CBN venture grants and postdoctoral fellowships have provided a wonderful mechanism for developing novel research projects and for generating critical preliminary data needed to make our NIH grants competitive,” said CBN Researcher Larry Young, Ph.D., of Emory University.

CBN Researcher Jocelyne Bachevalier, Ph.D., of Emory University said venture grants have had a tremendous impact on her research program.

“Venture grants have provided me the opportunity to not only discover several insightful collaborators in the community, but have also allowed me to get critical pilot data that have already been used in a recent grant application to the NIMH. The CBN also provides a unique opportunity to develop translational research projects,” Bachevalier said.

During its November site visit, a team from the NSF continued to be impressed with the CBN’s efforts.

“Added value was clear in research, education and inclusion of partner institutions. The CBN has continued to refine its mission of providing a new means of carrying out ‘team-based’ research. This broader mission is being realized as a major contribution to the community of behavioral scientists,” the NSF team stated. “The CBN continues to be a very successful enterprise. The vision and implementation of the CBN has produced a cultural change and developed a successful model for conducting collaborative, interdisciplinary and multi-institutional scientific research.”

During the last three years of NSF funding, the Center plans to continue to build on these successes, said Albers.

“We have in place many key elements that will allow us to forge ahead in attaining our goals,” he said. “And, we will continue to build on our successes in neuroscience research, education and public outreach as we work to increase our national stature and impact.”

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