Geographic Focus: U.S.
Type: Non-Profit, In-house Program
Funding History: Since 2022
The Pershing Square Foundation’s (PSF) brain initiative funds cutting-edge research that revolutionizes our ability to predict, prevent, and treat neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). Advancing our fundamental understanding of the brain and cognition to ultimately combat neurodegeneration and related diseases is a goal of increasing urgency. Breakthroughs in basic scientific and translational research will yield critical tools for and knowledge of NDDs, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, which affect millions of people worldwide.
The MIND (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery) Prize supports and empowers early-to-mid-career investigators to rethink conventional paradigms around 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.
Projects may range from the invention of novel tools, techniques, and technologies for mapping and analyzing the brain to bold approaches that demonstrate extraordinary therapeutic potential. Research domains may include—but are not limited to—neurobiology, brain imaging and mapping, machine learning, drug delivery, and synthetic biology.
MIND Prize winners will 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 will be awarded annually. Benefits include:
- Facilitated partnerships with like-minded researchers within and across institutions
- Networking programs such as collaborations and discussions with industry mentors, introductions to philanthropic and for-profit investors in the business community, special industry networking and entrepreneurship events, and more
- An annual retreat
- Opportunities to present at conferences and events (hosted by PSF and other organizations)
The MIND Prize is supported by an outstanding Scientific Advisory and Review Board:
- 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
- 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 of Rumi Scientific Inc.
- Navdeep S 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 Medical Center
- George Church, PhD – Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Founding Core Faculty & Lead, Synthetic Biology, Wyss Institute at Harvard University
- Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD – Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Pfizer, Inc.
- Juan Enriquez – Bestselling Author; TED All-Star; Managing Director, Excel Venture Management
- Fred “Rusty” Gage, PhD – Professor, Laboratory of Genetics, Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
- Michael E. Greenberg, PhD – Nathan Marsh Pusey Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University
- 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; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
- Joshua Sanes, PhD – Jeff Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology; Founding Director, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University
- Scott A. Small, MD – Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center; Boris and Rose Katz Professor of Neurology, The Taub Institute, The Sergievsky Center; Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
- Beth Stevens, PhD – Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; 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
- Richard Tsien, PhD – Director, Neuroscience Institute; Chair and Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, NYU Langone Medical Center
- Stacie Weninger, PhD – President, FBRI
- George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD – President and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron
- Michael Young, PhD – Nobel Laureate; Richard and Jeanne Fisher Professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Rockefeller University
- Feng Zhang, PhD – Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT; James and Patricia Poitras Professor in Neuroscience, MIT; Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering, MIT
The seven inaugural 2023 MIND Prize winners have been announced! Read more here.
Our 2023 application cycle has ended and the application system is now closed.
The system will reopen on Monday, October 9th, 2023 to accept Letters of Intent for the 2024 Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery (MIND) Prize. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is Monday, November 13th, 2023 by 5:00pm ET.
Please be sure to thoroughly read the 2024 application guidelines, which includes eligibility criteria, the application timeline, evaluation criteria, and additional details.
More details can be found on our application submission website:
Areas of Interest: Health and Life Sciences