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Allen Song Named Interim Director of Brain Institute

Has been DIBS member and advisor since institute's inception

Allen Song, Ph.D.

Allen Song, Ph.D., the director of the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging Analysis Center, has been named interim director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS).

“I am grateful to Allen Song for agreeing to serve as interim director of DIBS,” said Provost Sally Kornbluth, who made the announcement June 26. “With Allen’s leadership, alongside DIBS senior staff and faculty, the institute is in excellent hands while the search for a new director is underway.“

Song is a professor of radiology, psychiatry, neurobiology and biomedical engineering who has degrees in engineering and biophysics and did a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health.

“By bringing together scientists from across our campus to collaborate, DIBS has positioned Duke as a leader in brain research,” said Nancy Andrews, dean of the school of medicine. “Dr. Song will provide stable leadership during this period of transition, and I know we will benefit from his experience and knowledge as we engage in our search for a permanent director.”

As a member of DIBS since its inception, Song has served on the institute’s chairs and director’s advisory council and received a DIBS research incubator award.

Song’s research attempts to improve the ability of functional MRI to see neuronal activity more directly. He was one of the first researchers in the nation to be awarded funds from the NIH’s new brain science initiative, BRAIN.

“Allen has a strong background in leadership at Duke and in the brain sciences, making him an excellent fit,” said DIBS Associate Director Elizabeth “Zab” Johnson. “I know that Allen will provide stability and momentum to DIBS as the university begins the search for the next director.”

Song succeeds DIBS Director Michael Platt, who is leaving Duke for the University of Pennsylvania. Elizabeth Brannon, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke and Platt’s wife, is also joining Penn as a professor of psychology.

The search committee for a permanent DIBS director has also been named. Warren Grill, a biomedical engineering professor and DIBS member will chair the committee, which includes the following faculty:

Alison Adcock Assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences,    psychology and neuroscience, and neurobiology

Nicole Calakos Associate professor of neurology and neurobiology

Geraldine Dawson Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences Director, Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development Duke University School of Medicine Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Kafui Dzirasa Assistant professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences    and Duke Institute for Brain Sciences        Nita Farahany Professor of law and philosophy Director, Duke Science & Society

Simon Gregory Associate professor Duke Molecular Physiology Institute Departments of medicine, and molecular genetics and microbiology

Warren Grill, Chair Professor of biomedical engineering Pratt School of Engineering

Scott Huettel Chair and Jerry and Patricia Hubbard Professor of psychology and neuroscience

Stephen Lisberger Chair and professor, department of neurobiology 

Karen Neander Professor of philosophy 

Scott Soderling Associate professor of cell biology and neurobiology Co-director, BAC Recombineering Facility   

Gregory Wray Professor of biology Director, Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology

Ex officio members Edward Balleisen Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Associate professor of history and public policy Senior fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics  

Raphael Valdivia Vice Dean for Basic Science, School of Medicine Associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology