U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack met with researchers and toured the Iowa Neuroscience Institute (INI) during a visit to the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine on Wednesday, May 2.
During the visit, INI leaders, including Ted Abel, PhD, INI director, and Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Carver College of Medicine, highlighted the work being done at the UI to care for people with neurological and psychiatric conditions, make new discoveries about the brain, and train the next generation of neuroscientists.
Congressman Loebsack raised many insightful questions about the complexities of neurological and psychiatric research and clinical care. He also encouraged the scientists to “connect the dots” to help people understand the value of research in tackling brain disorders.
“I think telling stories that show the personal connection is really important,” he said.
Congressman Loebsack toured facilities and labs in the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building, and discussed research on early brain development and its impact on child mental health, and learned about the potential of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat mood disorders.
He also engaged with INI faculty who outlined their work on a variety of projects, including initiatives to increase access to psychiatric care and mental health services for Iowans; an ambitious national research project called SPARK aimed at uncovering the genetics of autism; and innovative approaches for treating or preventing neurodegenerative disease, like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Abel expressed his appreciation for Congressman Loebsack’s interest in and advocacy for the work done by INI doctors and scientists.
“We are grateful for his support of our efforts both to advance neuroscience research and to provide the best possible care for Iowans,” Abel said.