DR Lilianne Mujica-Parodis Research was boosted with a $6.2 million Investment by the Baszucki family
STEINIGER BACH, NY, May 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Stony Brook University announced a philanthropic gift develop Neurobloxa software platform developed by biomedical engineers and neuroscientists Lilianne “Lily” Mujica Parodi that will model brain circuits to treat brain disorders. The gift was made possible by David BassuckiFounder and Chief Executive Officer of Roblox, and his wife, bestselling author Jan Ellison Baszucki.
Mujica-Parodi took inspiration from Roblox when envisioning Neuroblox as a state-of-the-art platform that will open up a world of modeling possibilities for neuroscientists with no computer science training. The platform will allow researchers to explore the complexity of brain-based disorders by providing a blueprint for individualized care.
Roblox is an interactive platform that allows users to create their own immersive experiences and share them with one click across smartphones, tablets, desktops, consoles and virtual reality devices. Anyone can use the platform, even those with no programming experience.
“Right now there’s a disconnect between the goals of clinical research and the computational tools we have to use that research,” Mujica-Parodi said. “Neuroblox is doing something fundamentally different. It tries to fill that gap.”
Brain disorders like bipolar disorder, dementia and schizophrenia affect millions of families who have long struggled for answers, including the Baszucki family. Jan and David Baszucki reached out to Mujica-Parodi after learning about her first-of-its-kind study examining the role of ketosis on brain function. This was an area of particular concern for the Baszuckis, as it was a ketogenic diet that put their own son’s bipolar disorder into remission.
Driven by the excitement of the potential of this project, Mujica-Parodi quickly assembled a team of the brightest minds in computer science, neuroscience, biomedical engineering and beyond to bring the Neuroblox vision to life.
“Here was a neuroscientist who revealed the mechanism by which ketones work to stabilize brain networks,” Jan Ellison Baszucki called. “This explained why a ketogenic diet gave our son his sanity and life back. We had to ask ourselves if building on this knowledge by investing in metabolic neuroscience could be the first step to helping others suffering from mental illness.”
The $6.2 million investment by the Baszucki family $3.2 million to help build and launch Neuroblox and 3 million dollars establish the Baszucki endowed chair for metabolic neurosciences Rocky creek University. Mujica-Parodi will be the first holder of this chair, which recognizes an exceptional researcher in metabolic neuroscience.
“Lily is building a software platform on which neuroscientific researchers worldwide can refine, test and share models to help us understand how the brain regulates energy – a critical determinant of mental health,” said David Bassucki. “Our family believes that Neuroblox’s impact on the understanding and treatment of brain disorders, including mental illness, will be transformative.”
The gifts are upgraded with an additional one $550,000 out of Stony Brooks Presidential Innovation and Excellence Fund. This fund is specifically designed to advance the university’s highest ambitions.
“Lily’s innovative approach to one of our most pressing societal issues – our mental health and well-being – is inspiring. It underscores our commitment as an institution to nurturing knowledge that will have a long-term, meaningful impact on the world,” said President Maurie McInnis. “We couldn’t be prouder of these efforts, and we’re thrilled that the Baszuckis have chosen to invest in Lily’s groundbreaking work in ways that will undoubtedly transform lives.”
Around Rocky creek university – stonebrook.edu
Rocky creek university – New York’s Flagship University and #1 Public University – is one of America’s most dynamic public universities, a center of academic excellence and an internationally recognized research institution that is changing the world. It’s part of State University of New York (sunny) system. After more than 60 years of existence Rocky creek is among the top 80 universities in the country and among the top 35 public universities in the country.
About the Baszucki Group – baszuckigroup.com
Founded in 2021 by Roblox Founder and Chief Executive Officer David Bassucki and bestselling author Jan Ellison BaszuckiBaszucki Group uses private giving, impact investing, advocacy, storytelling and community building to drive fundamental change. A key goal of the Baszucki group is to improve the mental health impact beginning with bipolar disorder by supporting initiatives at the intersection of metabolism, psychiatry and neuroscience.
SOURCE Rocky creek university