On Tuesday, September 12th, 2023 The Pershing Square Foundation held its inaugural MIND (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery) Prize celebration dinner at the Modern in Manhattan, New York, awarding its 2023 MIND Prize to seven early-to-mid career pioneers in brain and cognitive health research. It was an intimate and festive celebration, marking the first of many gatherings of the MIND Prize community.
The evening started with a guest panel featuring MIND Prize Advisory Board members Paola Arlotta, PhD, Professor and Chair of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and Sergiu Pasca, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Stanford Brain Organogenesis Program at Stanford University. The two discussed the history of stem cells and organoids in neuroscience, the problems they’re tackling, what recent innovations and technologies have enabled their groundbreaking work, and what they believe the future might hold for the field.
The 2023 MIND Prize winners were selected by a prestigious board. The winners are: Matthew Greenblatt, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine; Justus Kebschull, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; Evan Macosko, MD, PhD, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Harvard Medical School; Priyamvada Rajasethupathy, MD, PhD, The Rockefeller University; Deblina Sarkar, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sergey Stavisky, PhD, University of California, Davis; and Jessica Tollkuhn, PhD, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. After remarks, The Pershing Square Foundation Trustees, Bill Ackman and Neri Oxman, PhD, and President, Olivia Tournay Flatto, PhD, presented the awards.
The MIND Prize supports and empowers early-to-mid-career investigators to rethink conventional paradigms around neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) . Modeled after the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, the MIND Prize catalyzes interdisciplinary approaches and facilitates collaborations across academic departments and institutions. It fuels the groundbreaking research that will accelerate our understanding of NDDs at every level.
MIND Prize winners each receive $250,000/year for three years, and they become part of a unique network of researchers associated with PSF. Generally five to seven prizes are awarded annually.