ZNI at night exterior
The ZNI building on the USC Health Sciences Campus, seen at night.

A Cross-Disciplinary Hub for USC Neuroscience

At ZNI, we foster a dynamic convergence of minds, where USC students collaborate closely with world-leading researchers in the realm of basic neuroscience exploration. Our institute is dedicated to addressing fundamental inquiries that touch upon the intricacies of human existence. Key areas of focus include the impact of aging on brain dynamics, the intricate interplay between genetic and environmental influences on brain circuitry, and the innovative quest to identify individuals at the highest risk for brain-related diseases.

With over 30 laboratories housing hundreds of researchers, ZNI is swiftly evolving into the central nucleus of the USC neuroscience community. Our vibrant community brings together clinicians, physician-scientists, researchers, and trainees of all academic levels. Together, we transcend departmental boundaries, disciplines, and schools to nurture innovative collaborations.

Driven by a shared vision of taking research from the lab to the clinic, our dedicated clinicians, physician-scientists, and researchers are committed to comprehending the complexities of brain diseases and disorders. Our ultimate goal is to develop groundbreaking therapies and translate discoveries from bench to bedside.

Our Mission

ZNI’s primary mission revolves around unraveling the enigmas of disease mechanisms impacting brain functionality, with a particular focus on neurodegenerative conditions and other debilitating disorders. By fostering collaborative synergies between physicians and scientists, we are paving the way for preventive strategies that could mitigate memory loss and other grave symptoms associated with brain diseases.

Central to our vision is the establishment of a highly participatory and innovative scientific culture. We believe in breaking down barriers between disciplines to undertake impactful research that resonates with those affected by these conditions. At ZNI, we are committed to engaging the public in the scientific process, inviting them to catalyze discoveries by contributing to promising research initiatives.

Core Values

The dedicated scientists of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the University of Southern California embody an unwavering commitment to comprehending the intricacies of brain diseases and disorders affecting countless individuals. Guided by our core values, we pledge to:

  • Pursue scientific knowledge with unwavering creativity and purpose
  • Disseminate information to fellow scientists, practitioners, families, and community leaders
  • Facilitate groundbreaking discoveries by ZNI scientists
  • Translate knowledge into practical applications that enhance lives
  • Join us in our journey to unlock the mysteries of the brain, improve lives, and create a better future through collaborative scientific exploration.

Explore the History of ZNI