Three decades of success

Message from the Co-Directors

Sunil Gandhi and Michael Yassa

Memory is the sum of who we are. It is the bridge to our past and future. It takes a fleeting moment in our experience and allows it to last indefinitely. It stretches our consciousness over a lifetime and allows us to enjoy meaningful and fulfilling lives. It enables us to project ourselves into the future, imagining what is yet to come. It chronicles the history of our species and will tell our tale long after we are gone. Simply put, without memory, humanity could not exist. Yet, for something so essential and ubiquitous, we still know very little about how it works.

Unlocking the mystery of how memories are made and how our brains are wired to accomplish this incredible feat will transform our future and catapult us to new frontiers in technology, medicine, and education. But, it is also a formidable challenge that requires us to transcend scientific boundaries and work as a diverse and interdisciplinary team.

The Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) is the first institution in the world dedicated to this fundamental challenge. Biologists, engineers, computer scientists, and other specialists work together at the intersection of disciplines to generate fundamental and often unexpected breakthroughs. This approach has already yielded discoveries that have transformed our understanding of the workings of memory.

From uncovering how emotional arousal strengthens memories to understanding how false memories arise, to revealing the impact of stress, sleep and exercise on memory, to shedding light on how memories are stored in connections among brain cells, to discovering a rare and unusual form of superior autobiographical memory, our faculty have been at the forefront of discovery in the field for over 40 years.

Now, as we look to the future, our scientists are once again poised to make radical discoveries and critical scientific breakthroughs. We are far from traditional in our approach. We are lean and agile, so we can quickly adapt to new or unexpected findings. We collaborate extensively and foster an environment where the unconventional is the norm. We embrace diversity and creativity, because we know they are the only way to take on big challenges.

We hope you will take the opportunity to browse through these pages and learn more about the Center, its Fellows, its students, and its various research, training and outreach programs. We are proud of our bright past, and we look forward to forging our brilliant future. We invite you to embark on this journey with us.

Sunil Gandhi, Ph.D.
Co-Director, CNLM

Michael Yassa, Ph.D
Co-Director, CNLM