August 6, 2020

Announcement: Magnify the Mind

Brandeis has long had one of the best neuroscience programs in the country. Nobel Prize winner Michael Rosbash, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Gina Turrigiano and world-renowned neuroscientist Eve Marder are all pioneers in the field. Their breakthroughs have helped transform our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism.

But to remain cutting edge — and continue to make advances in our understanding of human health — Brandeis needs to upgrade its microscopes. The university currently owns an aging fluorescence microscope that uses a technique called two-photon excitation to image intact brain circuitry in the living brain. This technique has allowed Brandeis researchers to study how genes and experience interact to produce functioning brain circuits. However, this equipment is no longer state-of-the-art because it uses old and slow scanning technology that takes only one image per second. This speed severely limits the type of research questions that can be answered.

The Brandeis National Committee would like to provide Brandeis with a next generation resonant scanning two-photon microscope. This new technology would enable Brandeis researchers to take 30 to 50 images per second. This increase in speed can be used to observe the brain much closer to its native processing speed, or can be used to take many photographs of the same tissue that can be averaged together to create very high resolution views, allowing Brandeis researchers to study structures as small as single synapses in the living brain.

Brain plasticity — how neurons react to changes in the environment — is one of the most important areas in brain research, understanding what brings about changes in behavior. When the processes responsible for plasticity malfunction, it can give rise to neurodegenerative illnesses. Resonant scanning will generate a trove of new insights and data to understanding why this happens.

Researchers at Brandeis will further be able to explore the role of molecules, dendrites and synapses in the brain and reveal operating principles. The Brandeis National Committee’s campaign to raise $500,000, launches July 1, 2018. Contact 781-736-7588 to donate today.

View the video here.

In Honor of Barbara Sander’s Presidency

On July 1st, Barbara Sander completed her three year term as National BNC President. Over the course of her presidency, she worked tirelessly to improve relations between 250,000 BNC members all over the United States, established a wildly successful leadership-development program and brought over 40 chapters closer to the National Board. Her energy and optimism are an inspiration to all of us, and brace her in her fight against a rare form of blood cancer.

We owe so much to her for her leadership, and her efforts to ensure that the philanthropic support of Brandeis grows. She is a role model to all of us in both word and deed. As one of the generous donors to the BNC’s Scholarship Campaign, she says “I can’t very well ask people to make significant gifts if I don’t do it myself”. While dedicating herself to her work, she continues to battle multiple myeloma which has no long term cure. However, she is adamant about remaining active and busy, and will remain on the Brandeis Board of Trustees. Determined to continue contributing her experience and wisdom to BNC, she says  “This cancer won’t kill me, so, as long as I have the energy, there’s absolutely no excuse for my not doing my best for the BNC.”

Read more about her art of motivation here:

We extend our appreciation to the following people for contributing to the BNC Scholarship Campaign in honor of Barb Sander’s Presidency:

Ellen Klein

Esther Rose

Janet Tolbert

Ann Friedman

Ronnie Riceberg

Pauline Leopold

Diane and Phil Rosenblum

Fran and Mike Spring

Sara Benesch

Helen Spindler

Sunny Brownrout

Barbara, Cliff and Andrew Bart

Jill Simons

Joyce Sandler

Elaine Nutlay

Marilyn and Paul Blankman

Joe Sander

Madalyn Friedberg, from the Central Westchester chapter, who has served as national vice president of fundraising for the past year, succeeded Barbara Sander as the Brandeis National Committee’s national president on July 1. Madalyn joined the BNC in 1973, and will serve as a leader for the organization and its 41 chapters.



How Will You Create Your Legacy?


University on Wheels – A Big Success!

Patron Party

Donors to the Sarasota Chapter of the Brandeis National Committees’s UNIVERSITY ON WHEELS were hosted at a Pre Party at the lovely home of Helen and Jerry Spindler. Our speaker, Dr. Don Katz, not only delighted the 36 attendees with his charm and humor, he also regaled the group with his saxophone playing. Co-chairs Fran Spring and Shari Paler declared the evening a success. Proceeds from this event were donated to Sustaining the Mind.

University on Wheels

Engaging, charming, learned, humorous, brilliant…these were all adjectives used to describe Dr. Don Katz, the speaker at the Sarasota Chapter of BNC’s University on Wheels held at Prestancia Country Club on January 20, 2013. The 76 attendees listened attentively as Dr. Katz taught us “Why We Like the Foods We Like;” we learned that genetics, experience, environment, and the presentation by food companies all play a role. Indeed, two candies that we think are different might be identical,  but we think they have different flavors due to their color and smell…and our expectations as to what they should taste like. All in attendance agreed that the topic and the presentation were outstanding. Proceeds from this event were donated to Sustaining the Mind.

Brandeis Tribute Cards

Honor achievements

Express appreciation

Thank your host or hostess

Celebrate birthdays

Recognize simchas and occasions

Memorialize loved ones and friends

Cards are available in $5, $10 and $18 denominations. Learned Research Journals (LRJ’s) are purchased with donations of $37, $55 (Medical Folio) or $100 (Special Book Collection-Judaica). LRJ’s are scholarly publications in all academic fields and are indispensable resources to the academic community at Brandeis University.  LRJ tributes represent gifts toward annual subscriptions to the journals. Tribute Card Samples

BRANDEIS DEPOSIT ACCOUNT PROGRAM is a convenient way to send BNC tribute cards — advance payment against which members may draw for future giving.  Your donation will be credited to your choice of either Book Fund or Sustaining the Mind.  Bookkeeping requires separate checks if donating to both funds.  Call Diane Rosenblum (941-315-8262) to make arrangements today or send an email with your questions/request to Please put TRIBUTE CARDS in the subject line.

Tribute Card Request Form

Sustaining the Mind: Scientific Research

We invite you to join the Brandeis National Committee’s “Sustaining the Mind: Scientific Research and Scholarships” campaign to establish an important fund to foster research in neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases, and to establish an endowed scholarship fund for students in the sciences. Help us reach our $3 million campaign goal and ensure that Brandeis researchers and students are able to excel and make important advancements in neuroscience.

Sustaining the Mind: Scientific Research and Scholarships

As the population ages and this number increases, the need for neurological and neurodegenerative disease research becomes increasingly important.Donate Scientific ResearchBrandeis University researchers in over 50 laboratories are already pioneering in the field of brain-related disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Scientists in the areas of neurodevelopment, neurodevelopment disorders and neurodegeneration are trying to understand the fundamental biological processes underlying brain function. These Brandeis professors and students are dedicated to the basic research that has already led to breakthroughs in our understanding of neurological diseases. Educating tomorrow’s scientists is important; that’s why investing in scientific research and scholarships at Brandeis is an investment in the future. Plus Brandeis is committed to ensuring that it meets the financial needs of students doing outstanding work in science’s fastest-growing arena.

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