Congressional Neuroscience Caucus

The bipartisan Congressional Neuroscience Caucus promotes a better understanding of how the brain develops, functions, and ages. Co-chaired by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the caucus seeks to raise awareness about the millions of Americans afflicted with neurological disorders or mental illnesses.

The American Brain Coalition has teamed up with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus in hosting and  organizing events that focus on neuroscience: sponsoring briefings and information sessions on neuroscience research and findings; collaborating with patient advocacy, physician, and research organizations to build awareness; and distributing congressional communications and information such as Dear Colleagues and Congressional Record statements.

Earl Blumenauer
(D-OR) – Co Chair

Cathy McMorris Rodgers
(R-WA) – Co-Chair

See if your Representative is a MEMBER of the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus, if they are not listed, we encourage you to ASK them to join today!


July 29, 2020 - Preserving Mental Health during COVID-19 (View Video) (View Summary)

  • Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Christine M. Crawford, MD, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Moderator: Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

June 3, 2020 - COVID-19 and the Brain 
(View Video) (View Summary)

  • Special Guest, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Co-Chair, Congressional Neuroscience Caucus

  • Sandeep Robert Datta, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
  • Avindra Nath, MD, Chief, Section of Infections of the Nervous System, Clinical Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  • Emily Troyer, MD, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biology Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego
  • Moderator: Matthew Rizzo, MD Frances and Edgar Reynolds Professor and Chair, Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center

November 19, 2019 - The Role of Science in Overcoming the Opioid Crisis

  • Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD, Karl E. Rickels Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine 

  • John Mariani, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Research Psychiatrist, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Karen Korfmann, RN, BSN, RN, Recovery Centers of America and Patient Advocate
  • Moderator: Sarah Timm, Executive Director, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 

September 17, 2019 - The Effects of Sleep, and Lack Thereof, on the Brain! 

  • Dr. Hans Van Dongen, Director, Sleep and Performance Research Center, Washington State University

  • Dr. Tracy Jill Doty - INVITED, Sleep Research Center Chief, Behavioral Biology Branch, Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

July 18, 2019 - A Brainy Look at the Movie INSIDE OUT

  • Dr. Jane M. Finn, Director, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Program, George Mason University

  • Dr. Tamar Mendelson, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Dr. Adam P. Spira, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health
  • Moderator: Phil Cronin, Cure Alzheimer's Fund

April 10, 2019 - Congressional BRAIN Investigators Reception (View Reception Video)

  • Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congressional Neuroscience Caucus Co-Chair (R-WA)

  • Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
  • Dr. Joshua Gordon - Director of the National Institute of Mental Health 
  • Dr. Walter Koroshetz - Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  • Dr. Joanne Tornow - Assistant Director for the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Biological Sciences

January 29, 2019 - Bench to Bedside: Building from Neuroscience Research Discoveries  

  • Ms. Leslie Ritter - Senior Director of Federal Government Relations at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

  • Dr. Charles Nemeroff - Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Institute of Early Life
    Adversity Research at Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ms. Gabrielle Anwar - Patient Advocate and American Actress

July 19, 2018 - Rare Diseases on the Brain: Paving the Way for New Therapies 

June 20, 2018 - The Role of Science In Overcoming the Opioid Crisis

  • Dr. Nora Volkow - Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

  • Dr. Kathleen Brady, PhD - Distinguished University Professor, Associate Provost, Clinical and Translational Science, Director, South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute 

  • Ms. Karen Korfmann, RN, BSN - Nurse and Patient Advocate
  • Dr. Wade Berrettini, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Incoming Liaison Chair

May 18, 2018 - Kids with Brain Disorders: Getting Diagnosis and Correct Treatment

  • Ms. Leigh-Allyn Baker - American Actress & Patient Advocate for Dyspraxia

  • Mr. John Shattuck -Goodwill Ambassador & Patient Advocate
  • Dr. Gary W. Goldstein, M.D. - President & CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

April 12, 2018 - BRAIN Fair

  • The Congressional Neuroscience Caucus, the Kavli Foundation, the American Brain Coalition, Simons Foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience hosted a BRAIN Fair on Capitol Hill to celebrate five years of the program. To demonstrate the progress already made through the BRAIN Initiative, the neuroscience community brought breakthroughs in brain science to life, by featuring interactive neuroscience exhibits, hosted by BRAIN-funded researchers.

February 26, 2018 - Launching into the Next Phase of the NIH BRAIN Initiative

  • Dr.Walter J. Koroshetz - Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  • Dr. Joshua A. Gordon - Director of  the National Institute of Mental Health

November 15, 2017 - Brains & Art Ice Cream Social

October 3, 2017 – Towards a Cure for Childhood Brain Disorders: A Tale of Two Disease Models

  • Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom - Professor and Autism Researcher, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

  • Dr. Jason Lunden - Former Post , Hussman Institute for Autism

September 14, 2017 – Understanding and Minimizing Sports-Related Brain Injuries

  • Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) - Chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force

  • Karen & Doug Zegel - President & Executive Board, The Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation 
  • Dr. Ann McKee, a Professor of Neurology & Pathology at Boston University and Chief of Neuropathology at VA Boston Healthcare System
  • Noel Heiks, CEO of MVTRAK 

June 20, 2017 – The Role of Philanthropy in Curing Brain Disease 

  • Anneliese M. Schaeffer, JD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Timothy Armour, MA, MBA, President & CEO of Cure Alzheimer's Fund
  • Barbara Newhouse, MA, CEO of the ALS Association

June 29, 2016 – Finding the Right Treatment for Depression 

  • Dr. Helen Mayberg, Psychiatrist, Emory University
  • Beverly Brewster, Mental Illness advocate

April 27, 2016 – Using our Brains and Art to Inspire a Future Generation of Scientists (Co-hosted by the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus & STEAM Caucus) 

  • Dr. Bill Griesar, Neuroscience Coordinator, NW NOGGIN
  • Jeff Leake, Arts Coordinator, NW NOGGIN 
  • Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Congressional Neuroscience Caucus Chair 
  • Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Congressional Science, Technology, Education, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) Caucus Chair

April 19, 2016 – Congressional Neuroscience Caucus Briefing “Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?“

  • Dr. Neil Buckholtz: Former Director of the Division of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging/NIH
  • Sarah Holt: Producer and Director, “Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?” 
  • Dr. Kenneth Kosik: Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Dr. Dennis Liu: Executive Director of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
  • Greg O’Brien: Journalist, author of On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s and early onset Alzheimer’s patient
  • Julia Cort, Deputy Executive Producer for NOVA, Moderator


December 1, 2015 – Work in Progress: Neuroscience Research to Understand the Developing Brain 

  • Lisa Freund, PhD, Chief of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Child Development and Behavior Branch
  • Frances E. Jensen, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and author of The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults


September 10, 2015 – Public and private investment in the BRAIN Initiative

  • Alan Gilbert, Director of Global Government and NGO Strategy, GE’s healthymagination
  • Pushkar Joshi, PhD, Director of Strategy & Business Development, Inscopix
  • Jeffrey Borenstein, MD, President & CEO, The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation


March 19, 2015 – Brain Health Breakthroughs: Good News for Service Members, Students and Seniors

  • Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, the Founder and Chief Director of the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair, and Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • Mark D’Esposito, MD, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology and Director of the Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Morgan Luttrell, retired United States Navy SEAL


November 20, 2014 – Depression: The Struggle, the Stigma, the Science and the Strategy for a Fix

  • Mark M. Rasenick, PhD,Distinguished University Professor of Physiology & Biophysics and Psychiatry, University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine
  • Alan F. Schatzberg, MD, Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine


April 29, 2014 – How Physical Activity Promotes a Healthier Brain

  • Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Geriatrics and Co-Director, Healthy Aging Alliance Oregon Health & Science University
  • Patricia Lightner, a Parkinson’s patient and the State Coordinator of Pennsylvania’s Parkinson’s Action Network


February 25, 2014 – Understanding Neurodegenerative Diseases: From a Rare Disorder to the Most Common

  • Steven Dekosky, MD, VP and Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, whose esearch focuses on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Virginia Lee, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Lab Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on mis-folded proteins in Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Alzheimer’s
  • Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel – Patient with fatal familia insomnia and her spouse, who have redirected their lives find a cure for her disorder


December 12, 2013 – Update on Schizophrenia: Applying the Science and Stopping the Stigma

  • Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Chairman of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia University and works closely with the New York State Office of Mental Health on a number of initiatives
  • Laurie Flynn, former CEO of NAMI and parent of an adult child with schizophrenia
  • Saul Levin, MD, MPH, Moderator, CEO and Medical Director, American Psychiatric Association


September 30, 2013 – Music and the Brain

  • Mickey Hart, renowned percussionist, former drummer for the Grateful Dead, and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco


September 25, 2013 – Capitol Hill Brain Awareness Event

  • John Morrison, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco


June 12, 2013 – The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative:  The NIH Perspective

  • Earl Blumenauer, Co-chair of the Neuroscience Caucus
  • Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health
  • Story Landis, PhD, Director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2003-2014)


March 18, 2013 – Exploring the Relationship between Mental Illness & Violence

  • Thomas R. Insel, MD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health
  • Elizabeth Childs, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in private practice in Boston, MA
  • Raquel Gur, MD, PhD, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Schizophrenia Research Center


November 27, 2012 – MaRS Innovation, a Model for Effectively Bridging the Research Gap

The MaRS Innovation Center, a not-for-profit based in Canada that’s focused on being the commercialization agent for Canada’s “discovery pipeline,” their 16 leading academic and research institutions.

  • Veronika Litinskiis, Senior Advisor for Healthcare and Life Sciences at the MaRS Discovery District


June 19, 2012 – Breakthroughs in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research

  • Dallas Hack, Director of the Army’s Combat Casualty Care Program
  • Carl A. Castro, Research Area Director, Military Operational Medicine Research Program
  • Steven Paul, MD, Founder & Director of Sage Therapeutics


June 13, 2012 – Breakthroughs in Neuroscience Research

  • Philip Rubin, PhD, Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences in the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
  • Frances Jensen, MD, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and Director, Epilepsy Center at Boston Children’s Hospital
  • William Mobley, MD, PhD, Chair of the Dept. of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego


November 10, 2011 – The Growing Brain: From Birth to Adolescence – What Makes it Work Right and What Can Go Wrong

  • Robert Hitzemann, PhD, Chairman, Behavioral Neuroscience Department, OHSU
  • Damien Fair, PA-C, PhD, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science and of Psychiatry, OHSU
  • Martha Denckla, MD, Professor of Neurology, Senior Pediatric Neurologist, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


July 27, 2011 – The Blueprint: NIH Efforts to Integrate and Advance Neuroscience Research

  • Edward Markey and Chris Smith, Co-chairs of the Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force
  • Earl Blumenauer and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Co-chairs, Neuroscience Caucus
  • Story Landis, PhD, Director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2003-2014)
  • Thomas R. Insel, MD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health
  • Richard Hodes, MD, Director, National Institute on Aging


June 23, 2011 – ABC Hosts First Congressional Neuroscience Caucus Briefing

  • Earl Blumenauer and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Co-chairs of the Neuroscience Caucus
  • Joseph T. Coyle, MD, Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • William Mobley, MD, PhD, Chair of the Dept. of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego


For more information on the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus, please visit


Left to right: Dr. Joseph Coyle, ABC Past Chair, CNC Co-chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, CNC Co-chair Earl Blumenauer, and Dr. Roger Reeves of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


Congressional Neuroscience Caucus briefing on NIH’s activities in contributing to the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative, featuring Drs. Walter J. Koroshetz and Joshua A. Gordon

Advocate and Actress Gabrielle Anwar shares her brave story at a CNC Briefing

Advocate and Actress Leigh Allyn-Baker shares her life as a mother with a child with dyspraxia during a 2018 CNC Briefing.


American Brain Coalition

P.O. Box 1549 | Maple Grove, MN 55311 | Phone: (763) 557-2913