Just in case you weren’t aware, last year marked the 20th Anniversary of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. The December issue of the DABI Member News, released last month, includes wonderful interviews and commentaries as well as quotes from DABI members and partners recognizing the many achievements of DABI and looking towards its future.
In the issue, Dana Foundation Chairman and President Edward Rover speaks about one of DABI’s most important goals—combatting the stigma associated with brain diseases and disorders: “This is where DABI and the Dana Foundation will spend most of our efforts: getting the story out that there is no stigma attached to brain disorders and doing everything we can to end the discrimination against people who have brain disorders.”
In two thought pieces, DABI members and Nobel laureates Eric R. Kandel, M.D., and Leon N. Cooper, Ph.D. (DABI Vice Chairman and Executive Committee member, respectively), provide insightful ideas about the progress of brain science, the approaches that must be taken to promote neuroscience, and why DABI’s work is of utmost importance in supporting these efforts. Kandel talks about President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative and DABI’s influence:
There are many origins for the BRAIN Initiative, but without question the earliest and most enduring is the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, now in its 20th year. DABI arose in response to President George H.W. Bush’s proclamation of the “Decade of the Brain” in 1990. In 1993, David Mahoney had the idea, 20 years before the BRAIN Initiative, to create an Alliance concerned with educating the general public about brain research. This began a series of major efforts designed to educate the public, members of Congress, and policy leaders, and to engage the scientific community in education and outreach.
Jane Nevins writes about David Mahoney, William Safire, and Edward Rover, the Dana Foundation chairmen who have guided DABI and Dana throughout the years. Nevins believes that even though each chairman came from very different backgrounds, they all succeeded in presenting facts and ideas to the public in an understandable manner and in a way that was suitable to the needs of DABI at the time.
Another highlight is a reprinted interview from 1997 with the late former DABI Vice Chairman W. Maxwell Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., that demonstrates the continuity and resolve of the Dana Alliance’s missions and goals while also providing an early reflection upon its impressive accomplishments and future goals.
Be sure to also check out DABI’s 20th Anniversary Timeline to read more about important moments and accomplishments of the Dana Alliance.
Stay tuned for more coverage of DABI, in particular Brain Awareness Week!