Some treatments are ready for immediate testing, in other cases we don’t even know the right questions yet. The philosophy of the Jungers Center is to create a interactive group of investigators who are searching for the knowledge keys to new treatments for neurological diseases. The uniqueness of the Jungers Center is the strong collaborative effort between the Department of Neurology with well-established clinical programs in neurological disease with the international reputation of the Vollum Institute in molecular and cellular neuroscience. This bridging of fundamental science with clinical problems is the most promising path forward for neurodegenerative diseases. New developments in neuroscience provide many opportunities that cross disease boundaries from new ways to protect the brain from injury, repair and replace damaged brain and nerve cells, and better understand why nerve cells die in a host of diseases including MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and traumatic injury of the brain and spinal cord.
The goals of the Jungers Center also extend beyond the activities of each investigator to establish links to other investigators at OHSU and elsewhere. In this regard the Jungers Center has established a lecture series to increase awareness of all neuroscientists in disease-oriented research. Investigators in the Center provide training and sponsor research fellowships in the Neurobiology of Disease to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in order to promote the next generation of investigators.
The Jungers Center is housed in OHSU’s Biomedical Research Building, which is dedicated to accelerating the pace at which promising discoveries move from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside. Generous support from Frank and Julie Jungers and other donors helped construct the Biomedical Research Building and make the Jungers Center possible. Additional philanthropic support is needed to equip the Center’s laboratories and provide the support necessary to recruit more top neuroscientists to its faculty. This effort must be a partnership between Center scientists, funding agencies and private donors if we are to be successful in the years ahead. The opportunities are great.