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Cori Bargmann: Reshaping science to save lives

Alan Flurry

UGA celebrates Franklin alumna Cori Bargmann (BS '81) as a Georgia Groundbreaker for her work revolutionizing research in neurobiology:

For over a decade, Bargmann ran a lab at the University of California at San Francisco. Today, she is the Torsten N. Wiesel professor of genetics and neurosciences at Rockefeller University in New York, and she leads the Chan Zuckerberg Science Initiative in California. In 2003 she was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences and is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including sharing the $1 million Kavli Prize in Neuroscience and the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Science.

In 2013, an entirely new kind of challenge came her way. President Barack Obama asked Bargmann to co-chair the planning of the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies). It was to be a 12-year, $4.5-billion undertaking, with $100 million granted the first year. The aim, according to the president, was to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. And though a single human brain has 86 billion neurons and Bargmann’s favorite worm has only 302, Obama’s choice was a clear vote of confidence in her work.

Great feature on one of America's premiere scientists. One year ago, UGA welcomed Dr. Bargmann back to campus as a fall commencement speaker, and her campus experience continues to resonate with so many stellar career accomplishments.

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