About the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute


The Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute (ZNI) is a cross-disciplinary hub for the neuroscience community at USC

ZNI students work with world-leading researchers on basic neuroscience research.
We focus on vital human questions such as:

  • How does aging affect the brain?
  • How do genes and environmental factors work together to influence brain circuitry?
  • How can we pinpoint individuals at greatest risk for diseases of the brain?

Facts & Figures


Now with more than 30 laboratories populated by hundreds of researchers, ZNI is fast becoming the hub of the USC neuroscience community.

Clinicians, physician scientists along with researchers and trainees at all levels—from undergraduate to graduate to postdoctoral—are forging collaborations across departments, disciplines and schools. We are beginning to see other universities follow this model, aligning traditional wet lab research space directly amid their clinical operations.

Our History

With the support of the W.M. Keck Foundation and a generous gift from Selim Zilkha, the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute (ZNI) broke ground in 2003. Some questioned why a new institute devoted to nurturing the best basic scientists would be located on a medical campus. But as entrepreneurs like Zilkha know all too well, cutting-edge endeavors frequently receive scrutiny, and he and the Keck School of Medicine of USC persevered.

Learn about our history