Sarah Jane Goes Global

NEW YORK, NY – The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation (SJBF) announced today that its National Advisory Board has expanded to become an International Advisory Board with the addition of experts from across the globe.

The SJBF also announced the appointment of Dr. Stephanie Peabody, Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, as the Executive Director of its International Mind, Brain, Health, and Education Initiative (IMBHEI). The International MBHE Initiative will generate a comprehensive integration of neuroscience, developmental sciences, health, education and related disciplinary research. Its goal is to positively impact optimal achievement in academics and in life for all individuals. IMBHEI will develop best practices for health care clinicians, educators, public health professionals, policy makers, family/caregivers and other stakeholders, based in scientific research. This will be the foundation for creating and building the SJBF data repository of knowledge related to the brain.

“Dr. Peabody’s vision in launching this Initiative will put the SJBF in the forefront of the worldwide Mind, Brain, Health and Education movement, with its innovative efforts to connect and reshape education and health, neurosciences and related disciplines to bring together their enormous resources in order to create more effective learning and health interventions,” said Donohue. “This will be a critical component in helping us achieve our goal of advancing our knowledge of the brain 50 years in the next 5 years.”

“Her practical approach, with its emphasis on producing empirically based and responsive programs and tools that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, will directly impact the work of the frontline of human development, teaching, learning, wellness, public health and policy makers,” Donohue continued. “It will provide practical training and support in applied settings as well as an alternative academic environment for scholars and practitioners desiring training in the sciences and disciplines of mind, brain, health, and education that combines research with practice. A well-supported Mind Brain Health and Education Initiative can generate innovations in education and health and have a pervasive impact on the economy,”he added.

Peabody noted, “This Initiative will create a preventative, proactive, and evidence-based approach to education, primary health care delivery, human development, neurodevelopment and well-being for our children and young adults throughout the world.”

She continued, “This initiative supports the translation of the research and practice of multiple related sciences to promote direct application at multiple levels and across disciplines. The reach includes undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level programs in education, health, and human sciences, P-16 educators, health care professionals, and parents/caregivers, as well as the learners themselves.”

“Through the integration of multiple disciplines we are developing an ambitious and promising, solutions oriented program to bring together education and health care disciplines, integrating practical and scientific foci on academic and wellness outcomes,” added Dr. Peabody.

The following experts in the fields of Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) and neuroscience were announced as part of the newly formed International Advisory Board and the launch of its Global Initiative:

Dr. Kurt Fischer, Bigelow Professor at Harvard’s School of Graduate Education (HGSE) and Director of the Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) Program, stated, “Education and medicine should be natural allies. Both of them promote and support the long-term health and well-being of children and adults around the world, historically; however, they have remained separated. It is time for them to join through the MBHE movement to build research-based knowledge that will improve education and health throughout the world. Dr. Peabody has worked extensively with medical institutions, P-12 schools and higher education to create the kinds of alliances that we need for generating strong research related to educational and primary healthcare practice, public health and policy. She makes the perfect leader for joining medicine/biology with education/learning science.” 

Fischer continued, “Her efforts will enhance our current mission in bringing together the sciences most closely related to education and health/brain science, genetics, cognitive science, emotion science, child development, and pedagogy. In this joining together, scientists and practitioners work together to create usable knowledge that contributes to the healthy development, well-being and achievement of children everywhere. The outcome of this effort has burst forth to become a large, energetic world-wide movement.”

Fischer concluded, “This is a proud moment as MBHE joins together with the new initiative on PABI to make life better for children all around the world.”

Dr. Jane Gillett, the Medical Director of the Hamilton Health Sciences ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) Program, as well as an Associate Professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, stated, “The Sarah Jane Brain Project’s goal of developing a broad system of care spanning from prevention to acute care to long-term community living that is based on current evidence and encouraging research into all aspects of brain injury can only enhance our understanding of the brain while delivering real results to the families who are currently affected.” Dr. Gillett is also the creator of the PABICOP model which the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan) was closely modeled after.

Gillett is also the President of the International Pediatric Brain Injury Society (IPBIS) which also will be working closely with Dr. Peabody and the SJBF to implement the IMBHE worldwide.

Dr. Shayne Ladek, who is the Team Physician for the Canadian Soccer Association and Federation Internationale de Football Association, stated, “We need to enhance our understanding about the long-term impact of concussions and ‘mild’ traumatic brain injuries on our children and young athletes around the world. Creating an international effort focused on collecting the information and sharing it will undoubtedly lead to much greater advances and knowledge worldwide.”

Dr. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran stated, “There is a tremendous need to connect the fractured silos across neuroscience research and clinical practices. The Sarah Jane Brain Project’s efforts to be a catalyst as a unifying voice will have considerable impact on increasing our knowledge of the brain. I am excited to be part of this new global initiative.” Dr. Ramachandran, a native of India, is a world-renowned neurologist best known for his work in the fields of behavioral neurology and psychophysics. He is currently the Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, Professor in the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Nick Rushworth, who is the Executive Officer of Brain Injury Australia, noted, “Uniting families across the globe will benefit all of our children and young adults who suffer from a pediatric acquired brain injury. Brain injuries don’t discriminate between a shaken baby in Brisbane or Brooklyn, a motor vehicle incident in Melbourne or Miami or Sydney to Seattle, and neither should our efforts at preventing and treating these injuries.”

Dr. Lucia Willandino Braga said, “The underlying principle of The Sarah Jane Brain Project – that of shared knowledge – will benefit the many families, clinicians and researchers across the globe who are working very hard to support these highly traumatized children and young adults.” Braga is the President and Dean of the SARAH Network of Rehabilitation Hospitals, located throughout Brazil.

Rounding off the new international appointments to the SJBF Advisory Board is Shaheen Usmani out of Jamia Millia Islamia (a Central University in India).

To learn more, please visit The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation’s website,

About MBE:
In the late 1990s this movement began in three separate places: Cambridge, Paris, and Tokyo (Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and the Initiative in Neuroscience and Education in Tokyo [also called Baby Science]). Kurt Fischer, Bigelow Professor at Harvard and Director of the Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) Program there, led the connection of these three centers (and others) to form an international movement. This effort was catalyzed by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (the first scientific academy in the world, founded in 1603 by Galileo and others), which invited Fischer and other MBE leaders to create a program on MBE in Rome to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Academy.

In 2004 they founded the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES) and went on to found the new journal Mind, Brain, and Education (named as the Best New Journal by the American Association of Publishers). They seek ways of catalyzing the joining of biology, cognitive science, and education in order to craft and renew education for the twenty-first century.