Our very own psychologist, Dr. Timothy Allen, and other researchers have created the Florida Consortium on the Neurobiology of Cognition (FCNC) to facilitate collaboration and resource sharing among top neurobiology research institutions in the state.
“The FCNC was created to fill a gap in neurobiology research in the state,” said Allen. “There were multiple institutions doing great work individually and with similar goals, but they weren’t collaborating and sharing resources.”
The FCNC was established with a team-based science approach—multiple researchers from the state joining forces to share knowledge, resources and collaborate to improve the way neurobiology research is done in Florida.
“Florida universities and researchers should be at the forefront of helping understand neurocognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and using that knowledge to develop tools for diagnosis and treatment,” Allen said. “At FCNC, our mission is to pool the resources and talents across the state universities to attack the problem in a team-oriented and open-science fashion.”
Dr. Aaron Mattfeld, assistant professor of psychology at FIU and director of the Memory and Development (MaD) Lab at the Center for Children and Families, is also a member of the executive committee, along with other researchers from Florida State University and the University of Florida.
“The key contribution of the FCNC is bringing together neuroscientists throughout Florida studying similar questions,” Mattfeld said. “As specialization increases, bridging the different approaches can only be accomplished through team science — an approach that has already led to exciting new collaborations and innovative ideas in how we analyze our fMRI data.”
Sara Burke, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at University of Florida’s McKnight Brain Institute is currently president and co-founder of the FCNC. Allen, who is also director of the Allen Neurocircuitry & Cognition Lab at the Center for Children and Families, will succeed Burke in 2020 and will serve as president for a three-year term.
The FCNC plans to hold annual meetings each year to discuss their research, set goals for the organization and expand their member base by inviting new research labs to join. By using the open-science system approach, their goal is to be able to freely exchange technologies and scientific protocols, as well as apply for grants to conduct statewide studies to make an even bigger impact in neurobiology research.