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COBRE Center for Neuromodulation

The COBRE Center for Neuromodulation (CCN) at Butler Hospital includes multidisciplinary clinical neuromodulation research activities, all of which involve brain stimulation and readouts of circuit activity in clinical or clinically-relevant populations. We have selected projects and project leaders lending themselves to close scientific collaboration and technical links mentoring mechanisms to facilitate their growth towards independent scientific careers, and propose a platform for interchange of scientific insights and technical skills. We also include a robust pilot project award program to meet the need for a sustainable pipeline of researchers in clinical neuromodulation.

The Butler COBRE Center for Neuromodulation (CCN) focuses on neuropsychiatric illness including impulsivity, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other illnesses, by seeking to understand and test methods to change the functioning of the brain circuits underlying pathology.

The guiding principle of this COBRE is that for noninvasive brain stimulation to gain in clinical efficacy and implementation, it is imperative to better characterize clinically-relevant target circuits and mechanisms of action.

Our Specific Aims are to:

  • Unite and support a group of three highly promising early career investigators as COBRE Project Leaders (PL's) in their proposed neuromodulation investigations in clinical and clinically-relevant populations.
  • Establish a Design and Analysis Core (DAC) to support their use of rigorous and innovative experimental design and data analytic strategies.
  • Establish a Neuroimaging and Neuromodulation Core (NNC) to facilitate acquisition and processing of high-quality data using noninvasive neurostimulation and neuroimaging methods.
  • Propel development of investigators towards independence via an Administrative Core that oversees a mentorship program, evaluates progress, monitors milestones, and provides other career-development skills.
  • Identify and support new neuromodulation scientists through recruitment of new PL's and through a robust CCN Pilot Project Award program, integrating the resources of the DAC and NNC research cores.

Administrative Core

Our COBRE, led by the Administrative Core, develops design/statistical, neuroimaging, and brain stimulation resources by focusing particularly on the COBRE CCN projects described. The CCN Administrative Core dedicates itself to working with its partners - IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Centers and IDeA-Clinical and Translational (CTR) programs in Rhode Island, collaborating entities at/affiliated with Brown University including the Brown Institute for Brain Science (BIBS), and the Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology (CfNN) to achieve its mission. Key functions of the Administrative Core is overall governance, communication, and evaluation.

Neuroimaging and Neuromodulation Core (NCC)

The Neuroimaging and Neuromodulation Core (NCC) facilitates the research goals of COBRE Project Leaders and pilot grant investigators, and benefits the broader neuromodulation research community by providing expert support, training, assistance, and advice to its constituents in the practical aspects of implementation, data collection, and project management related to neuroimaging and neurostimulation methods. The NCC addresses a critical need, namely, to provide Project Leaders with unique resources, skills, and support for using the best methods and practices surrounding neuroimaging and neuromodulation in clinical neuropsychiatric populations. The NNC provides key services for research projects and creates an enduring resource that offers neuromodulation researchers a series of educational seminars, hands-on workshops and customized training opportunities, high-level consultative and medical input, and use of a specialty research facility at Butler Hospital with lab space, equipment, and medical support.

Design and Analysis Core

Quantitative Sciences Program of the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute.

Project Leaders

  • Project EPIC
  • Project RISE
  • Project FLEX


Center of Biomedical Research Excellence Grant (COBRE) to Focus on Clinical-Translational Brain Research


Kristen Fortin-Ashburne, MBA
Center Administrator
COBRE Center of Neuromodulation, Butler Hospital
Annex W327, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906 | O (401) 680-4198 | F (401) 921-6920


This website is supported by COBRE Center for Neuromodulation Funded by the National Institutes of Health grant number 1P20GM130452. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.