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Earlier this year, Frank Tarazi, MBBS, PhD, MBA was appointed to the Global Agenda Council on Brain Research, joining 17 other prominent leaders in the fields of academia, business, economics, medicine, and science to collaborate and develop business plans that will aim to generate new investments worldwide into brain research.
The newly-convened council was created by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the falling state of mental health and the huge financial burden of brain diseases.
“The WEF felt there was a need to better understand the diseases of the brain; however, there are limitations for funding brain research right now so there’s a growing need to identify new investment sources around the world,” said Tarazi, director of the Psychiatric Neuroscience program at McLean and associate professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School.
He participated in the Global Agenda Councils meeting in November, which was held in Dubai and attended by medical, scientific, philanthropic, and investment leaders, as well as world dignitaries including former Vice President Al Gore, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown, and former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd.
“The purpose of the council is to come up with new policies and recommendations that will increase interest in brain research from the private sector, philanthropists, and government throughout the U.S, Europe and beyond,” he said. “There is a need to create more interest from different stakeholders in brain research. The value of brain research may not be immediate but in the long-term it’s worth the investment because the outcome will be the development of new drugs and medications that will help in improving the treatment of brain diseases.”
Tarazi believes the broad diversity of the council—having many different experts coming together—is what will lead to new investments in brain research. “Members of the council come from the World Bank, investment firms, academic institutes, pharmaceutical companies, charitable trusts and different sectors of the government. We hope to develop effective proposals to submit to stakeholders and decision makers.”