3 NYSCF – Robertson Investigators Receive Award from Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative


It was announced last week that three NYSCF – Robertson Investigators have been named Ben Barres Early Career Investigators by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). This Early Career Acceleration Award, named for the late Stanford neuroscientist known for his pioneering research and mentorship, supports early career academic investigators, especially those who are new to the field of neurodegeneration. The three investigators to receive this honor were:


  • Mitchell Guttman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology. Dr. Guttman’s lab studies how cellular mechanisms contribute to toxicity and neurodegeneration.
  • Elaine Hsiao, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology. Dr. Hsiao’s lab explores the relationship between the gut microbiome and brain function.
  • Sergiu Pasca, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. Dr. Pasca investigates how human brain development goes awry in neuropsychiatric disease, using 3D aggregates of brain tissue made from stem cells (called “organoids”) to better understand this process.


The scientists now join CZI’s Neurodegeneration Challenge Network, which brings researchers from different fields, as well as computational biologists and physicians, together to study neurodegenerative disease and develop new treatments. The network aims to create a collaborative, open-science approach to research and to develop new approaches to understanding disease.

“The Challenge Network is an experiment, one we believe can have impact well beyond the investigators included,” CZI explained in a statement. “We recognize that this is not a problem we can solve alone — only when we work together can we truly solve the challenge of neurodegeneration.”

See the full list of Ben Barres Investigators here.


Diseases & Conditions:

Neurobiology, Neurotechnologies

People mentioned: