Brain science is the least explored of all of our sciences. Considering the brain is the organ we use to consider, it is ironic how little we know about it. It is natural to fear the unknown, and no surprise that there is a lot of trepidation, stigma, labeling, and fear associated with the invisible diseases of the brain that we call “mental”. The Avielle Foundation is committed to making the invisible, visible. We are doing this by supporting scientific research to understand the chemistry and structure of the brain as it pertains to violent and compassionate behavior; encouraging innovative and imaginative youth to move into the field of brain health understanding and study; and to help re-frame how we talk about brain health. We are also committed to giving a voice to the researchers in the field of brain health science as it pertains to gender with the publication Violence and Gender. In essence we are here to provide opportunities to grow our understanding of how we view brain health, from a scientific standpoint, and to share this knowledge with engaged communities everywhere.
The Avielle Foundation is proud to fund and support some of the most promising brain science research labs in the world. Part of our mission is to prevent violence through brain health research in order to understand why someone would engage in harmful behavior. TAF is committed to supporting traditional neuroscience, clinical, and public health research that focuses on the interplay between brain health, violence, and compassion. We use the term ‘brain health’ to promote an understanding of the brain as the organ that controls our memories, feelings, and behaviors; If a behavior is abnormal, it is the consequence of organic and tangible abnormalities in biochemistry and structure. By supporting research designed to bridge the biochemical and behavioral sciences, TAF is working to make the invisible world, traditionally labeled as mental, a visible and tangible world of brain health.
Along with research grants awarded to neuroscience and clinical research investigators, TAF aims to promote community engagement and education, brain health awareness, and violence prevention and compassion building strategies through implementing and evaluating public health programs. Partnership opportunities with the foundation to help promote and build these public health efforts are welcomed. These could include but are not limited to PSA’s, advertisements, creative branding, training, workshops, educational events, seminars, studies, and innovative programs.
TAF interns range from 14 to 24 years old and live all across the country (and sometimes outside the country). We are extremely fortunate to have their insight and help, as our future depends on the imaginations of our youth. They have been helping us champion our mission to prevent violence and build compassion through promoting neuroscience research, community engagement, and education. The Avielle Foundation is heavily science-based and these engaged youth have begun exploring brain health and the neural basis of violence and compassion. Additionally, they have helped to educate communities about brain health and have begun exploring a wide range of skills and interests including how a non-profit functions, marketing, social media outreach, website design, merchandise design, branding, fundraising, program design, and operations. Our interns have contributed various writing pieces, lab research, curriculum development, website content and design, data base construction, and social media outreach and campaigns.
As stated in our mission, TAF is committed to preventing violence and building compassion through brain science research, community engagement, and education. To this end, the foundation wants individuals with novel ideas and research to be able to share their knowledge across all communities. Presenting travel awards to individuals not only educates, but also connects and engages audiences around the globe. These awards are not limited to neuroscience specifically but rather brain health on a much broader scale including psychology, psychiatry, therapy, and public health; all with the goal to reduce the fear and negative stigmas surrounding brain health, and to encourage folks to seek help for themselves and their loved ones.