June 13, 2008

Wallace named to lead Vanderbilt Brain Institute

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Mark Wallace, Ph.D.

Wallace named to lead Vanderbilt Brain Institute

Mark Wallace, Ph.D., associate professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and Psychology at Vanderbilt University, has been named director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute.

Wallace succeeds Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

The Brain Institute was established in 2001 to “foster and facilitate” neuroscience research, training and public outreach at Vanderbilt.

It encompasses the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience for undergraduates, and nearly 300 scientists from more than 50 departments, centers and institutes across the campus.

In conjunction with the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, the institute also sponsors the annual Brain Awareness/Brainstorm programs to share with the public “the promise and progress of brain science research.”

“I'm honored and a bit humbled … (and) absolutely amazed to be able to oversee this,” Wallace said last Friday during the 11th annual Vanderbilt Neuroscience Retreat at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. “Elaine has been an amazing source of guidance. I can only hope to achieve the standard of quality she has.”

A graduate of Temple University, Wallace directed the Neurobiology Graduate Program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine before coming to Vanderbilt in 2006.

He is an investigator in the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience, the Vanderbilt Vision Research Institute and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

Recently he was elected secretary/treasurer of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

In announcing Wallace's appointment, Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research and interim dean of the School of Medicine, noted that Vanderbilt's Neuroscience Graduate Program is one of the nation's largest and highest ranking.

“We're very excited that Mark will be working to expand and grow the trans-institutional vision and activities of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute,” Balser said.