In 1994, MIT first established a world-class, multidisciplinary neuroscience research center, initially with a grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and then continued with long-term support from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute and the National Institute of Mental Health.
In 2002, under the directorship of Dr. Susumu Tonegawa, we received an extraordinary gift from the Picower Foundation, the Center was renamed as the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and was expanded to thirteen faculty members and as many research groups, with a total staff of nearly 200.
The Picower Institute is a community of scientists focused on a common question: How is the brain modified by experience? To answer this question we use multiple levels of analysis, ranging from molecular to behavioral, and exploit the tools of modern molecular biology and genetics to dissect the contributions of specific molecules, synapses, cells and circuits to behavior. We work to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying complex disorders of the brain that affect emotion and cognition.