Brain Health Research Institute director works to expand outreach, increase collaboration


Michael Lehman, director of the Brain Health Research Institute. 

Rachel Karas

Kent State named Michael Lehman as the first director of the Brain Health Research Institute in February of this year. Since becoming director, Lehman has been working on expanding the outreach and connections of the institute.

“I’ve been doing a little bit of a listening and speaking tour for the Brain Health Institute,” Lehman said. “To go everywhere that I can essentially, to tell people what it’s about and invite them to become a part of it, to get engaged in it.”

In addition to increasing involvement, Lehman also wants to utilize the lower level space of the Integrated Sciences Building and create what Lehman calls a “collaboratory,” or a collaborative laboratory.  

Before coming to Kent State, Lehman held several positions at different institutions, such as the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati. He most recently worked at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he was a professor and chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences and chairman of the Board of the Neuro Institute, which he founded.

The Brain Health Research Institute currently has more than 80 faculty members and has partnered with Cleveland Clinic, Northeastern Ohio Medical University, Akron Children’s Hospital and Case Western Reserve University.

Lehman said he hopes to increase the partnerships between Kent State and medical organizations like the Cleveland Clinic to create a more collaborative environment.

Rachel Karas covers graduate education and research. Contact her at [email protected].