The Max Planck Florida Foundation is honored to receive a $2 million appropriation from the State of Florida that will launch a groundbreaking neuroscience training program. The Max Planck Florida Scientific Fellowship Program offers graduate, postgraduate, and postdoctoral researchers from Florida universities and institutions around the world an opportunity to work at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) on some of the world’s most advanced neuroscience research. As part of this program, fellows can visit and study with scientists at several Max Planck Institutes engaged in neuroscience research throughout Germany.
“The brain is the most complex living structure in the universe, and Max Planck neuroscientists here in Florida and in Germany are dedicated to advancing our understanding of its structure, function, and development. Our global community has made neuroscience research a priority, and we’re honored to be a part of it,” said MPFI Scientific Director and CEO Dr. David Fitzpatrick, “but this is just the beginning. With this Fellowship Program, we’ll be training the next generation of research leaders who will be pivotal to unlocking the mysteries of the brain that limit our ability to develop effective treatments for a broad range of neurological and psychiatric disorders.” He added, “Funding through this program also offers Ph.D. students the option to study abroad at one of the other Max Planck Society’s 82 institutes where they'll learn from world renowned researchers, bringing that experience and know-how back to Florida.”
The state appropriation will also allow for enhancements in existing training programs such as the Integrative Biology and Neuroscience (IBAN) graduate program jointly run by Florida Atlantic University and MPFI.
Florida Atlantic University President John Kelly said the critical international component sets this program apart from other programs in the U.S. and positions Florida as a cutting-edge bioscience Center of Excellence.
“Not only are students exposed to an extremely high caliber of scientific research internationally, the intellectual capital of the state is expanded,” Kelly said. “Florida Atlantic University plans to greatly expand its academic and research programs at the Jupiter campus, and partner with MPFI on this and several other new initiatives.”
In addition to new research fellowships, MPFI will utilize the appropriation to fund a world-class neuroscience symposium attracting renowned scientists from around the world to Florida. This event will encourage discussions of the latest advancements in brain research and foster the all-important international networking that is critical to enable next-generation scientific discoveries.
“We are thrilled and humbled by the support shown by the Florida Legislature and Governor Scott which will truly benefit residents and communities, not only here in Florida, but throughout the country,” said Foundation President Barbara Suflas Noble. “Brain disorders account for more hospitalizations than any other disease and place an enormous emotional and economic strain on our families and all of society. It is imperative that we support the research that will help us better understand and more effectively treat brain disorders such as autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.”
The Max Planck Florida Scientific Fellowship Program will be open to postdoctoral fellows and graduate students seeking a Ph.D. degree. MPFI expects to enroll its first fellows this fall.