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FAU’s Provost Elected Officer of World’s Largest Neuroscience Organization

BOCA RATON, FL (November 16, 2011) – Brenda Claiborne, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University's new provost and chief academic officer, has recently been elected to serve as an officer of the world's largest organization of scientists and clinicians studying the brain and nervous system. Claiborne will serve as treasurer-elect of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), which has over 41,000 members worldwide and publishes the weekly scientific journal, The Journal of Neuroscience. Claiborne will serve a three-year term that began November 15, the first as an officer-elect, the second as treasurer and the final year as past-treasurer.

The SfN annual meeting, one of the largest scientific meetings with more than 30,000 attendees, is the premier venue for neuroscientists from around the world to debut cutting-edge research. SfN has 150 chapters in 47 states and in 22 countries.

"I am honored to serve as Treasurer-elect of the Society for Neuroscience. The Society is one of the premier scientific organizations in the world and has played a pivotal role in my career as a neuroscientist," said Claiborne. "I look forward to contributing to its mission, and supporting my colleagues around the globe in their research and professional endeavors."

With the arrival of Scripps Florida and Max Planck Florida Institute on FAU's Jupiter campus, Palm Beach County is continuing to develop as a major geographic hub for neuroscience research. FAU has a rich history in the field, celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences in 2010. More recently, in July of this year, Scott Kelso, Ph.D., the Center's founder, was awarded the Bernstein Prize, the highest award of the International Society of Motor Control (ISMC), for his life's work in neuroscience. The election of the University's highest-ranking academic administrator to the world's preeminent organization for brain and nervous system researchers will help boost FAU's profile as a neuroscience research institution.

"We are extremely proud of Dr. Claiborne for being elected as an officer of this important organization," said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. "It is the mark of a research university to have a chief academic officer who is active in their discipline, and we are honored to be able to look to our provost for guidance as we enhance our research and academic programs in neuroscience."

FAU also has a growing portfolio of scientists and physicians who are training the next generation of brain science and health researchers, and practitioners. In August, FAU welcomed its first class of 64 medical students to the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. The new medical school will play a dual role as a producer of quality community physicians and as a biomedical research center. New discoveries about the brain and nervous system can help researchers better understand the causes of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, as well as treatment options for these debilitating conditions.

Claiborne arrived at FAU in July. Previously, she served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico. Prior to that, she spent time as both the founding director of the Institute for Aging Research, as well as dean of graduate studies and associate vice president for research at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Claiborne's research interests include understanding the relationship between neuronal structure and function, as well as studying the factors that affect this relationship during development and aging. She has been awarded numerous grants for her work from many prestigious organizations, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, among others.

For more information, contact James Capp at 561-297-0884 or


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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