NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Brain research received significant new support today through the creation of the E. Bronson Ingram Chair of Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt psychology professor Jeffrey D. Schall has been named as the holder of the new endowed chair, which was established with the goal of improving the lives of children through brain research.
The chair was created by the donation of Robin and Richard Patton in memory of Mrs. Patton’s father, Bronson Ingram, a Nashville corporate and civic leader who served as president of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust from 1991 until 1995.
"To be named the E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Neuroscience is a singular honor for which I am very grateful to Robin and Richard Patton,” Schall said. “It provides us with both an opportunity and a responsibility to accomplish more. I am committed to ensuring that our effort and achievements are worthy of the Pattons’ generosity."
In addition to his role as professor in the Department of Psychology, Schall is director of the Center for Integrative & Cognitive Neuroscience, director of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center and a senior investigator with the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. He studies various aspects of cognition, including how the brain processes visual information, produces attention and awareness, controls actions and knows when it makes a mistake. Work like his holds great promise for addressing challenges such as vision impairment, learning disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.
"Jeff embodies what is unique about our outstanding faculty at Vanderbilt,” Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Nicholas Zeppos said. “He is engaged in important research that will have a profound effect on the lives of people; he is a committed and inspiring teacher of undergraduates, who actively participate in his research; and he is deeply committed to being part of a community engaged in serious and civil debate on basic questions of science, research and higher education. We are fortunate that Robin and Richard Patton stepped forward to allow us to recognize Jeff and his outstanding work."
“The Pattons’ generosity comes during a time of rapid exploration, collaboration and discovery in brain research at Vanderbilt,” Dean of the College of Arts and Science Richard McCarty said. “Jeff and his colleagues in the Center for Integrative & Cognitive Neuroscience, the Vision Research Center and the Kennedy Center are exploring some of the most complex questions in brain sciences today. I know that Jeff and his group will continue to be at the forefront of discovery in this exciting field of research.”
Schall, 43, has been a Vanderbilt faculty member since 1989. He has received national and international recognition for his work, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a McKnight Endowment Investigator Award and the 1998 National Academy of Science’s Troland Research Award, the only Academy award given in psychology and the most prestigious award given to an experimental psychologist under the age of 40 years.