The University of Iowa is planning the organization of its neuroscience research efforts in methodical, thoughtful fashion. Dr. Story Landis joined four colleagues in January, 2015, to work with leadership at the University of Iowa, and to identify strategies that would take advantage of their strengths, and foster the development of new programs. Discussions benefited from the perspectives of junior and senior faculty, and senior administration. Dr. Landis could contribute to these analyses from her personal experience in founding the Department of Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University, and her broader view of neuroscience research across the nation as seen from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. There is no simple template. Review and planning are influenced by people, resources, institutional culture, and aspirations. The University of Iowa now has a better sense for how its programs are viewed from the outside, how efforts elsewhere may inform their planning, and ways in which they may engage with neuroscience research across the nation.
Clinical research is vital, but is also expensive and often slow. It is essential that its basic science underpinning be accurate and reliable. Dr. Landis organized and introduced a symposium at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience November 16, 2014, that addressed the importance of reproducibility, and explored the tools and techniques that can support that goal. A panel of gifted investigators explored a range of topics, ranging from training to scientific review and publication.