New York, NY, November 7, 2022 (Business Wire)The Pershing Square Foundation today announced the launch of the MIND (“Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery”) Prize. With the launch of the Prize, The Foundation strives to change the paradigm of neuroscience research by creating a community of next-frontier thinkers who can uncover a deeper understanding of the brain and cognition. Breakthroughs in basic scientific and translational research will yield critical tools for and knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, which affect millions of people worldwide. The Prize will bring together the most talented early-to-mid-career investigators across scientific fields with creative and experimental ideas to solve problems that will transform the current understanding of the brain and its impact on human health.

The MIND Prize will catalyze novel interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work by facilitating collaborations across academic departments and institutions and amongst the academic, biomedical industry, philanthropic, and business communities. These breakthroughs in basic, fundamental research will help augment the toolkit for, and knowledge of, neurodegenerative and neurocognitive disorders. Prize winners will each receive $750,000, distributed $250,000 per year for three years.

“We founded the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research almost ten years ago with the premise that backing early-career scientists at a time when they otherwise would have difficulty securing funding could lead to truly innovative and novel work in the field,” said Pershing Square Foundation Co-Trustee Bill Ackman. “With the success of our cancer prize, we realized that the prize model could also be applied to cognitive health. Therefore, we are thrilled to launch the MIND prize as we seek breakthroughs in the understanding of the brain.”

“Our brain is a gateway to our sense of self. The author of our memories and dreams, it holds the key to consciousness. With 600 neurologic disorders, and approximately 50 million Americans affected each year, imagine a hopeful future where we are all spared neurodegenerative decline,” said Pershing Square Foundation Co-Trustee Neri Oxman. “We are launching the Prize with a sense of urgency and with faith in the leaders who are committed to understanding and protecting the organ that is, per Dickinson, wider than the sky.”

Applicants must have between one and ten years of experience running their own laboratories by the award start date (May 2023), hold a PhD, MD, or MD-PhD (or degree equivalent), and be affiliated with a research institution in the United States of America. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is December 12, 2022 at 5:00pm ET. For more details on the MIND Prize and the application process, including the full eligibility criteria, please visit:

“Bold, innovative projects need funding at the earliest stages,” said Olivia Tournay Flatto, PhD, President of The Pershing Square Foundation and Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance. “This initiative will break down the barriers across disciplines to foster stimulating and novel discoveries in the human brain, leading to a transformative understanding of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, and, ultimately, cures.”

“There is a great need to support early-to-mid-career investigators to think outside the box and explore novel avenues in neurodegenerative disease research,” noted Rusty Gage, PhD, President and Professor at the Salk Institute and Member of the MIND Prize Advisory Board. “I think The Pershing Square Foundation’s MIND Prize is a timely and crucial initiative which fills this funding gap and targets one of the most important challenges that we face.”

The MIND Prize is proud to rely on the guidance of a highly accomplished scientific advisory board (in formation) including:

    • Paola Arlotta, PhD, Golub Family Professor and Chair of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University
    • Richard Axel, MD, Nobel Laureate; Co-director, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University; University Professor, Columbia University; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    • Cori Bargmann, PhD, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor of Genetics & Genomics and Neurosciences & Behavior, Head of Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, The Rockefeller University
    • Ed Boyden, PhD, Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT; MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    • Ali Brivanlou, PhD, Robert & Harriet Heilbrunn Professor, Head of Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology, and Synthetic Embryology, The Rockefeller University; Co-founder, Rumi Scientific Inc.
    • Navdeep Chandel, PhD, David W. Cugell Professor of Medicine & Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
    • Moses Chao, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology, Physiology & Neuroscience, and Psychiatry, NYU Langone School of Medicine
    • Juan Enriquez, Managing Director, Excel Venture Management; Bestselling Author; TED All-Star
    • Fred “Rusty” Gage, PhD, President and Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    • Richard Isaacson, MD, Director, Center for Brain Health; Director, Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine; Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medicine
    • Sergiu Pasca, MD, Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Bonnie Uytengsu and Family Director of the Stanford Brain Organogenesis Program, Stanford University
    • James Rothman, PhD, Nobel Laureate; Sterling Professor of Cell Biology; Chair, Cell Biology; Professor of Chemistry; Director, Nanobiology Institute, Yale University
    • Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD, Alice and Rodman W. Moorhead III Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
    • Joshua Sanes, PhD, Jeff Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology; Founding Director, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University
    • Beth Stevens, PhD, HHMI Investigator; Institute Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Lavine Family Research Chair, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children’s Hospital
    • Bruce Stillman, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    • Stacie Weninger, PhD, President, FBRI
    • George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron
    • Michael Young, PhD, Nobel Laureate; Vice President for Academic Affairs, Richard and Jeanne Fisher Professor, Head of Laboratory of Genetics, The Rockefeller University

About The Pershing Square Foundation:

The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) is a family foundation established in 2006 to support exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable global impact. PSF has committed more than $600 million in grants and social investments in target areas including health and medicine, education, economic development and social justice. Bill Ackman and Neri Oxman are co-trustees of the Foundation. For more information visit:

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