OSTP Provides Update on Neuroscience Efforts across Federal Government
April 19, 2013
by Christine Cameron
In a lecture at AAAS on April 11, Dr. Carlos Peña, Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President, described the range of activities across the federal government in neuroscience and the work of the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience (IWGN). Pena stated that there is an increasing recognition of the broad range of applications of neuroscience including health, education, law enforcement, defense, the workforce, and our economy.
Pena described neuroscience research activities across government including the White House Neuroscience Initiative; the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience; the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative; a 2012 Executive Order Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families; the 2011 National Alzheimer’s Project Act; the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research; Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research; NSF research.
In particular, the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience has made rapid progress since the group was chartered in June 2012 to coordinate activities in neuroscience research across the Federal government. The group produced an internal white paper in February 2013 identifying 5-10 research focus areas in which communication and/or coordination across agencies can facilitate neuroscience advances of national importance. The group is expected to complete a second internal document in June 2013 outlining concrete actions the federal government can take to accelerate the process in some of these research areas.
The multi-agency effort also includes public-private partnerships and will eventually involve international partners.