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About Us

Anatomy of a mission statement

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All of our programs are designed to improve scientific and personal knowledge of the brain, with the goal of fostering mental health and longevity, in the individual and globally. To accomplish this vision, the Institute for Brain and Society primarily supports two larger initiatives: The Human Brain Library and The Brain Observatory®.

The Human Brain Library is an effort geared toward providing the larger scientific community, with data and rare insight on the structure and function of the human brain. The goal is to distribute correlated images and tissues from case studies that represent specific disease or different stages of maturation of the brain, a unique service in the field. Although we are working toward the construction of a permanent repository for the digital and physical brain archive, the information will be shared digitally via the web as soon as it is created and validated, gaining instant worldwide impact.

For those who don’t work in the field of neuroscience, interacting with real-life exhibits and engaging closely in research activities improves personal knowledge and awareness of the brain. This is the main function of The Brain Observatory, a venue where members of the public, including students and educators, can familiarize themselves with the issues surrounding brain research and make the products of research relevant to their own development and welfare. The Brain Observatory will be at the forefront of a new preventive approach to mental health, based on promoting knowledge of the brain at the personal level and on providing education about how factors such as nutrition and lifestyle affect the brain’s state, performance, and age. We believe that this approach will also catalyze unprecedented public interest and involvement in the neurosciences with substantial effects on political support for the field.

The Human Brain Library and The Brain Observatory are connected by a constant flow of information that originates from the brains and associated histories that are progressively archived in The Human Brain Library. This essentially makes The Brain Observatory a science “showroom” that publicizes and humanizes the same data scientists and health professionals leverage to fight neurological disease. 


Founder

 

Jacopo Annese, Ph.D., President/CEO

Dr. Jacopo Annese graduated from the University of Rome in Italy with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and zoology. He earned a master’s degree in neurological sciences at University College London, U.K., and completed the Ph.D. program in cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. He subsequently trained in computational anatomy at the Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada, and at the Laboratory of Neuroimaging at the University of California, Los Angeles. He joined the UCSD Dept. of Radiology in 2005 where he served as a research faculty member until 2015. His research has been featured in a variety of broadcasting and publishing media, including PBS NOVA, National Geographic, BBC, Discovery Channel, The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Financial Times, Esquire Magazine, and Discover Magazine.

Dr. Annese's primary goal in the field of neuroscience is to conduct research that is open to public engagement and promotes the highest standards in data sharing and collaboration within the scientific community.

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Board of Directors

 

Alexander P. Butterfield, Chairman

Alex Butterfield is a retired military officer and business executive. He previously was chairman and CEO of Armistead & Alexander, Inc., an international consulting group; president, COO and director of California Life Corporation, a publicly held financial holding company; executive vice president, COO and director of International Air Service Company, a highly diversified privately held firm; director of Aloha Airlines; administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration; assistant to Richard Nixon;  and Cabinet Secretary. In the U.S. Air Force, he commanded tactical fighter and reconnaissance squadrons in combat operations, served as a military assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, and was senior U.S. military officer in Australia. Alexander holds a bachelor's degree in political science and masters' degrees in American history and international affairs. He is a graduate of the National War College, National Defense University.


Sandy Dodge, Director

Sandy Dodge graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in business administration. She served on the auxiliary board for McHenry County Mental Health and as a member of the Board of Directors for United Bank of America, Chicago Stock Tab (a computer paper manufacturer), plus several other boards in the Chicago area. She worked and served as VP in Chicago for a real estate firm primarily dealing in development of industrial properties. In California, she served on the Board of the Rancho Santa Fe Chapter of Las Duenas Children's Home Society. Sandy served as president of the UC San Diego Cardiovascular Center Advisory Board and heads the committee for the annual gala. Currently, she is president of LP III Dodge Corp., a real estate holding company.


Kurt Schmidt, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Kurt Schmidt has more than 30 years of experience with financial management and corporate governance, with a significant focus on healthcare and biotechnology. His experience includes CEO and CFO roles leading strategy, finance, operations, and business expansion. Kurt has held key management positions in both research and development and commercial organizations, most notably in cancer diagnostics. He has lived and worked in the U.S., Netherlands and France, and is still an active member of the international business community. Kurt has a passion for working with growing organizations that make an impact on society.


Gina McLeod, Director and Secretary

Gina McLeod is San Diego resident who has been involved in community relations and charitable causes for more than 20 years. She is an expert mortgage advisor with experience in residential lending, having worked as a loan processor, underwriter and loan originator. Gina is a licensed California Real Estate Broker and recipient of both Chairman’s Circle and President’s Club awards. She co-founded Hannah's Crusade, a children's advocacy foundation for safety helmet law awareness, and has been instrumental in fundraising and participating on committees for Vista Hill Foundation, The Padres Foundation, Miracle Babies, and Freedom to Live. Gina also serves as the business development officer for Bank of America Volunteer Charities in the San Diego market.


Stephen M. Dorros, M.D., FACR, Medical Director

Dr. Dorros  was the Chairman of Radiology, Chief of Staff of Tri-City Medical Center, Chairman of Hospital-based Physicians and served as President of the Tri-City Foundation, the fundraising organization of that hospital. He also helped develop the Tri-City outpatient radiology suites, the Joanne and Edgar Jones Mammography Center and the cardiovascular rehabilitation center. He chaired several of the very successful Golf for your Heart Pro AM tournaments. He has served on the board of the Museum of Photographic Arts, Oceanside Art Museum, UCSD Art Gallery, and Vista Clinic, a clinic for under-served residents in the north county. He currently  serves as Vice Chancellor for Business Development and Medical Director of UCSD Radiology at La Jolla.