By Richard Asinof
KINGSTON – Patrick Aebischer, president of Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, will help launch a new University of Rhode Island graduate neuroscience program in a series of events planned for Dec. 5 through 7.
The new program is tied the projected annual growth rate of 22 percent of the $10 billion-a-year neuroscience industry, according to URI officials. The program, approved in June by the R.I. Board of Governors for Higher Education, will offer both masters and doctoral degrees, targeting entry into research and industry jobs.
Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy will also be involved in the launch, giving a public talk about his “One Mind for Research” initiative on Dec. 1. Kennedy will not be involved in fund-raising for the project, according to Nasser H. Zawai, dean of the Graduate School at URI
No formal relationship now exists between the new program and the Prince Neuroscience Institute, a new collaborative effort between Rhode Island Hospital and the Brown University Institute for Brain Science. Zawai said he hopes to develop a memorandum of understanding in the future.
In addition, according to Zawai, there are no plans right now for the new program to serve as an additional impetus for construction of a new URI combined Life Sciences/Nursing building in Providence’s Knowledge District, which has been under consideration.