About the Center for Glial-Neuronal Interactions

Our Mission and Goals

Few researchers have the ability to be true experts in all cells and all systems involved in developing, maintaining, defending and repairing the nervous system. Collaborative research between experts of relevant fields is often impeded by field specific jargon, cultures and the lack of forums friendly to those from "outside."

The Center for Glial-Neuronal Interactions (CGNI) is dedicated to providing an interactive and welcoming forum facilitating innovative collaborations between neuro- and glial-centric researchers as well as with researchers from outside the field of neuroscience. The ultimate goal is to define the multifactoral processes contributing to the health and dysfunction of the nervous system. By doing so, CGNI members are contributing to identification of risk factors for brain disease as a consequence of genetic, pathogen or environmental insults as well as to the identification of therapeutic targets in neurodevelopmental, neurocognitive and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, the center has a goal to mentor and support a new generation of researchers able to bridge the divide between scientific fields. Hence, both the scientific and mentorship missions of CGNI revolve around facilitating beneficial "interactions".


  • CGNI is proud to be the first Center established in the Division of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine.
  • Officially founded October 2007 with the first annual SoCal Symposium on Glial-Neuronal Interactions in Health and Disease, CGNI is an outgrowth of an earlier Biomedical Sciences-CNAS CGNI workgroup launched by Drs. Carson, Hatton and Parpura in 2004.
  • Since its founding in 2007, the members of the Biomedical Sciences & Neuroscience student graduate student organizations have played robust roles in supporting and shaping center activities with CGNI student members having equal voting rights with faculty in all matters.


  • Members meet monthly to develop and support trans-disciplinary collaborative research in progress.
  • CGNI fundraising efforts have been used to purchase software and equipment to augment campus cores and thus foster collaborative research
  • The center hosts an annual symposium at UCR which welcomes a diverse array of investigators examining glial-neuronal interactions in health and disease. The symposium has been made possible by the UCR School of Medicine, the UCR Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, the UCR Graduate Program in Neurosciences and the Glenn Hatton Memorial Fund.
  • To foster collaborative research across disciplines, the center and its members develop and support workshops between experts in specialized methodologies & specialized areas of research and CGNI faculty, fellow, student and staff members.