Message from the Director

Welcome to the Center for Neurotechnology and Behavior at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai!

I started working in the field of neuroscience over 30 years ago, first learning about action potentials and electroreceptors in electric fish, and now in my own laboratory advancing new technologies to understand better the cellular mechanisms underlying drug addiction. Neuroscience has matured over the years, with engineers, physicists, chemists and biologists all coming together to develop innovative tools for studying the function of the brain.

This is an incredibly exciting time for neuroscience research.

“The human brain is the source of our thoughts, emotions, perceptions, actions, and memories; it confers on us the abilities that make us human, while simultaneously making each of us unique. Over recent years, neuroscience has advanced to the level that we can envision a comprehensive understanding of the brain in action, spanning molecules, cells, circuits, systems, and behavior. This vision, in turn, inspired the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.” (Brain 2025, A Scientific Vision)

On April 2, 2013, President Obama, the 44th President of the United States, launched the BRAIN Initiative to “accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought.”

At the Center for Neurotechnology and Behavior, we bring together researchers in neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai that focus on elucidating brain circuits involved in normal and diseased states. A central feature is our commitment to developing and implementing state-of-the-art neurotechniques, such as optical detectors of neurotransmitter release, multi-unit recordings, photo-uncaging, Miniscopes, and intersectional genetics. The emergence of new techniques, more powerful data analyses, more complex behavioral models, and precision genetics provides us with the tools to dissect and analyze neural circuits in ways not previously thought.  

In the Center, we recognize the importance of collaboration in advancing the field. Scientists with similar interests and different areas of expertise are brought together to pursue a deeper understanding of elementary brain function and how neurons communicate within larger complex neural circuits. To achieve this camaraderie, we are promoting communication amongst out investigators through interactive scientific data sharing events, such as a monthly Center for Neurotechnology and Behavior dinner, providing resources to support development of innovative techniques, supporting young researchers, and recruiting new investigators.

Our Center’s home, located within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides us with the tools we need to understand the mechanisms behind drug addiction, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other disorders of the brain and nervous system. We look forward to working to improve the lives of those affected by a range of neurological conditions.

Paul A. Slesinger, PhD
Director, Center for Neurotechnology and Behavior