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University names new Duke Institute for Brain Sciences director

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences has a new director.

After conducting an international search, the University has named Michael Platt, professor of neurobiology, evolutionary anthropology, and psychology and neuroscience, director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

Provost Peter Lange and School of Medicine Dean Nancy Andrews announced the appointment earlier this week, according to a Duke news release Thursday. The institute’s first director, David Fitzpatrick, left the position in January 2011. Fitzpatrick is now the CEO and scientific director of the Max Planck Florida Institute.

DIBS is one of seven interdisciplinary institutes at Duke and was founded in 2007. Since then, DIBS has developed an undergraduate neuroscience major and appointed six new interdisciplinary faculty members, according to the release.

The institute hosts various research projects focusing on four themes—neurotechnology, circuits and behavior, neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders and the brain and society.

In addition to these projects, DIBS sponsors three research working groups on neurohumanities, addiction and cognitive and affective control and houses the Duke Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Science.

Platt has directed the DIBS Center for Cognitive Neuroscience since 2009. His research specializes in the brain’s mechanisms, investigating the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making and social cognition.

“DIBS has been a real catalyst for collaborations across the schools, departments and other units that work on brain-related research and teaching across the university,” Platt said in the release. “I’m looking forward to expanding upon the initial successes and deepening the interdisciplinary infrastructure that is integral to DIBS.”

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