Washington University in St. Louis has been a leader in neuroscience for nearly a century, including many aspects of systems neuroscience. One prime example is the development of functional neuroimaging, including the 1st application of this technology to the study of cognitive functions. Research in systems neuroscience is, however, not limited to imaging with burgeoning studies of primate anatomy and physiology, and translational and clinical studies across broad domains. The importance of systems neuroscience involving more than a dozen departments at Washington University encouraged the development of the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience.

The fundamental mission for the Center is to enhance research and research training opportunities in systems and cognitive neuroscience across all the relevant Schools of Washington University. The Center would broadly embrace all research in systems neuroscience. The intent is for the Center to be inclusive, welcoming all who wish to be affiliated. It provides a natural way for researchers from various parts of the University to meet and develop collaborations, to create hubs for discussing research and mentoring students, and to maximize external funding to support systems neuroscience at the University.