President's Welcome

Dear Grass Foundation Family and Friends, Dear Visitors,

Thank you for your support in 2019. We’ve a lot to report. Overall, the Foundation is doing very well. We had strong group of fellows in the Grass lab this summer, and an excellent Forbes lecture from Gilles Laurent, Director of the Department of Neural Systems and Coding at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). Gilles spoke on Cephalopods, Visual Perception, Motor Control and Brain Evolution.

At SfN, the Albert and Ellen Grass lecture in 2019 was given by Jennifer Raymond (Stanford), on Neural Learning Rules in the Cerebellum. The cerebellum is known for its role in motor learning, and is increasingly implicated in cognitive functions such as navigation, reward prediction, emotion and social behavior. The cerebellum’s simple architecture facilitates study of the functional links between events occurring at the molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral levels. By leveraging this analytical advantage, Jennifer discussed new insights into cerebellar plasticity. We also continue to support the Lindsley prize for the best PhD in behavioral neuroscience, with this year’s winner being Brian Sweis from the University of Minnesota. Diane Lipscombe, SfN President, noted that “the Society recognizes the innovative work in Dr. Sweis’s thesis that advances our understanding of how the brain processes information during decision making and how these processes are affected by addiction. His work took a cross-species neuroeconomics approach to developing interventions for those affected by addiction and other mental illness”. We saw many of you at the Grass booth in the non-profit row at SFN; please stop by if you come to SFN, and plan to attend our 2020 social in Washington. We would love to see you, and we welcome the chance to recruit new Grass fellows for the summer of 2021.

Lastly, I want to ask all of you to contribute to the Foundation. The work of the Foundation is largely supported by returns on the stock market. I feel that personal contributions from those of us that have been affected by the Foundation is a wonderful way to support this cause. We welcome ideas for future engagements and programs, but we also welcome financial contributions (https://grassfoundation.org/donations). An ‘alumni’ fund supported by contributions from all of you helps to make our ideas come to life.

The Grass Foundation wishes you a satisfying, fulfilling and joyous 2020!

Catherine Carr
President, The Grass Foundation

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