November 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (November 7, 2014)


The O’Neill Institute-Pellegrino Center Program in Brain Science and Global Health Law and Policy brings together institutional capabilities and the expertise of internationally renowned scholars in global health law and policy, neurosciences, clinical medicine and neuroethics. The Program is dedicated to addressing the role of neuroscience in global health law and policy by developing more finely-grained analyses and applications of the ways that brain sciences can be leveraged to mitigate the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) upon the 21st century world stage.

The importance of global health has been recognized as playing a crucial role in global security, equity and political stability. In particular, NCDs are a major priority and constitute greater than half of the global disease burden the vast majority being incurred by low- and middle-income countries. Public health prevention approaches recognize and target human behavior as a major contributor to NCDs.

At the same time, the increased pace of neuroscience research assured by international agendas including the United States’ Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, and Human Brain Project of the European Union, is producing ever more sophisticated tools to better monitor, evaluate, and affect the structure and functions of the brain. Building upon the behavioral and cognitive sciences, neuroscience has enormous potential to both afford insights to current and emerging problems in global health, and to provide knowledge and tools to affect individual and community behaviors.

We believe this creates an imperative to incorporate global health priorities into the agendas of neuroscientific research and its translation, and optimize opportunities to engage neuroscientific approaches and neuroethical analyses in developing cost-effective solutions to pressing issues in global health.


  • Identify and address areas of intersection between the neurosciences and global health law and policy;
  • Assess the suitability of laws and regulations to address the increasing numbers of commercial neuroscientific products entering the market;
  • Define critical questions and directions for neuroscientific research that can help inform public health interventions;
  • Explore new methods to optimize data generated from neuroscience research that can be used to inform public and global health priorities; and
  • Ensure that policies guiding neuroscientific research reflect global health and equity priorities.


  • Neurological non-communicable diseases in global health: Implications for prevention, treatment and policy.
  • Bringing the brain to global health policy: Engaging cognitive and social neuroscience – and neuroethics – in approaches to mitigating non-communicable diseases.
  • Neurolaw beyond the “bench”: Neuroethical issues in global health law.
  • Potential utility of neuroscience and neurotechnology in models and approaches to international health promotions (in conjunction with Coburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany)


Katherine Shats, BS, LLB, LLM at: