Ed Bilsky named member of Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives

December 18, 2014

Ed Bilsky
Ed Bilsky

Ed Bilsky, Ph.D., vice president for Research and Scholarship, founding director of the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences (CEN), and professor of pharmacology, has been selected as a member of the prestigious Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI). He is the first neuroscientist from Maine to receive this honor.

The Dana Alliance is a nonprofit organization supported entirely by the Dana Foundation.  Its mission is to advance public education about the progress and benefits of brain research and to disseminate information on the brain in an understandable and accessible fashion.

As a DABI member, Bilsky will join a distinguished group of neuroscientists who are called upon by the organization to organize and serve as experts at public forums, to write and review articles for Dana publications, to provide information to journalists and to advocate for brain research through community outreach programs, such as the yearly Brain Awareness Week Campaign, the organization’s flagship event.

Bilsky stated, "I am excited and honored to be selected to join the Dana Alliance as a member. Its work has great synergy and overlap with parts of our own mission and vision for UNE’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Burman in the College of Arts and Sciences, the neuroscience K-12 outreach program has been highlighted and supported by the Dana Foundation. Being the first member from Maine to join the Alliance, I hope to use this new connection to promote brain awareness to the citizens of Maine in concert with the Maine Society for Neuroscience."

The current director of CEN, Ian Meng, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, said of Bilsky’s appointment, "I can’t think of anyone more deserving.  Dr. Bilsky has been a driving force behind neuroscience education and research in the state of Maine, and our K-12 outreach is now seen as a model program for other institutions throughout the country." ​

Bilsky received a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1996 with a concentration in opioid pharmacology, pain and addiction. In the spring of 2001, Bilsky joined the faculty of UNE, where he conducts translational research in the areas of pain and addiction. He has received over 6 million dollars in extramural funding through a variety of federal, state and private grants and contracts including the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research and biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. He has also published over 75 peer-reviewed publications in leading journals and books and has presented nationally and internationally.

He was awarded the 2011 American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Research Mentor of the Year Award, received the 2014 Patient Advocacy Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the 2014 Career/Lifetime Achievement Award from the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.

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