Update on the Scientific Front
The Avielle Foundation is committed to advancing brain health research to prevent violence. This is done through raising awareness of the need for this kind of research within the scientific community; advocating for increased funding for research; and most importantly, providing researchers with the much needed funding to perform research, both in the laboratory and in the field.
Over the past year the Avielle Foundation has begun to gather the funds necessary to directly fund brain health research to prevent violence. We have also been visiting with world leaders in neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, and education to understand what we know and what we do not know about the maladies of the brain that can lead to aggression and violence. We have built a world-class advisory board to help guide our funding goals and targets. As you can see from their bio sketches, we have recruited a veritable “who’s who” of experts to serve as the Avielle Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. These individuals are true visionaries, making breakthrough discoveries to guide our understanding of the very complex workings of the brain. Terrie Moffitt of Duke University, John Krystal of Yale University, James Blair of the NIMH, Adrian Raine of the University of Pennsylvania and Kent Kiehl of the University of New Mexico comprise a renowned and stellar group of experts in the areas of brain maladies.
In addition to establishing this board, the Avielle Foundation has been connecting with individuals from myriad disciplines to raise awareness for the need for brain health research and to educate researchers, politicians, and lay people on just what that means. We have attended national and international scientific conferences and met with researchers from around the world; engaged public health and public safety workers; educated on a grass roots level at all our various fundraising events; visited elected and appointed government officials from the President of The United States of America all the way to local town officials; and connected with other organizations who are interested in being a part of our efforts to directly fund brain health research. We have also partnered with a new scientific journal, “Violence and Gender” to both raise awareness in the scientific community of the Avielle Foundation’s aims and to insure that there is a place where violence prevention and brain health research can be shared. In short, we have received an avalanche of support.
In the coming months we will begin directly funding scientific research. Initially we will begin small, by providing awards to young and developing researchers who can help elucidate just what it is that can make a brain be wired so wrong as to lead to a lack of impulse control and acts of heinous violence. While our primary focus will be on neuroscience, we will welcome individuals from any scientific discipline with the aim of understanding and preventing violence. We are currently in the process of making all this happen and will be announcing our first award recipients in the coming months. Eventually our goal is to provide funding on a much larger scale by introducing multi-year awards and endowments or even creating research centers.
This is all made possible with your support. Perhaps you provide the Avielle Foundation with your expertise to help us meet our goals. Perhaps you organize or participate in an event to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation. Perhaps you helped out financially. Perhaps you find a way to do all three. We thank you. Through your contributions we remain dedicated to raising awareness, advocating for funding, and directly supporting brain health research to prevent violence.
Michael L. Nichols, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer
The Avielle Foundation