The Stiles-Nicholson Foundation was formed in 1992 in memory of William John Stiles and William Nicholson, the father and step-father of David John Stiles Nicholson with the mission to improve and enhance the education of citizens to better understand the benefits of the free enterprise system and how best to cope and succeed in the real world. The mission presently includes 4 major initiatives and we are excited to utilize our rapid growth to help create a better more opportunistic America with equal opportunity for all to be the best that they can be.
The FAU Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
The FAU Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College is a top-tier, residential, freestanding, Honors College with a four-year, all-honors curriculum and its own faculty. FAU’s Wilkes Honors College combines academic rigor and practical experiences, including interdisciplinary study and experiential learning. The Honors College shares the MacArthur campus in Jupiter, Florida with FAU’s Brain Institute, the world-renown Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and The Scripps Florida Research Institute. Wilkes Honors College students conduct research in the world-class labs of these units and regularly co-author publications with their scientists. Ellen S. Goldey, Ph.D., was appointed as the dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College in 2016. Dr. Goldey came to FAU from Wofford College, where she held the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorship. She was a faculty member in biology for 20 years and served as chair of the department for five years. She is a national leader in the movement to reform undergraduate STEM education, with a focus on department-wide adoption of course-embedded research, engaging pedagogies, and other strategies known to increase student success.
Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI)
The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience is a unit of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, a 60-year-old independent, non-profit scientific research organization with its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. Max Planck scientists conduct basic research in the service of the general public. They make groundbreaking discoveries with worldwide impact; create new medical applications; unearth the basic materials of the future, and advise politics, business and society on urgent questions concerning the development of the world. The interdisciplinary research areas provide many opportunities to work with universities and other research organizations. David Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. was named Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of MPFI in 2011. Prior to his arrival in Jupiter, Dr. Fitzpatrick was the Founding Director of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. In this capacity, he led the development of numerous cross-school, interdisciplinary initiatives that spawned new areas of collaborative research, recruited new faculty, and supported the development of new educational programs in the neurosciences.
The Scripps Florida Research Institute
For more than 50 years, The Scripps Research Institute has been a world leader in biomedical research. Scripps scientists are committed to advancing biomedical science, an area of research that influences almost all of today’s medical treatments. Scripps world-renowned faculty grapples with questions concerning the most fundamental processes of life — how the human body works and what causes disease to occur — to improve the health of you and your loved ones. Located in Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Scripps Florida provides a rich intellectual environment and cutting edge facilities for its researchers and trainees, who conduct studies at the forefront of biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. The Scripps Research Institute’s Department of Neuroscience at the Scripps Florida campus is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying learning and memory, sleep, and consciousness and the human diseases that affect these cognitive processes. Our activities include basic research to understand how neurons and other brain cells work individually and collectively. The basic research is interdisciplinary and utilizes techniques of genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, imaging, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and behavior. The Department of Neuroscience is chaired by Ronald Davis, Ph.D., whose interests lie in how memories are formed, stabilized, and retrieved and in the human diseases that affect learning and memory, including Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and ADHD.
South Florida Science Center and Aquarium
The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium (SFSCA), formerly the South Florida Science Museum, operates as a “best-in-class,” community based science center providing visitors with engaging and interactive science education experiences. Since originally opening its doors, the SFSCA has hosted over five million visitors and are on track to serve 215,000 in 2017, with 65,000 public and private school children from Palm Beach, Martin, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Lew Crampton, President and CEO, pursues the mission of the SFSCA to “open every mind to science”. In relation to the ASCEND Program, the SFSCA plans to open Journey Through the Human Brain, an ~2300 sq. ft. permanent exhibit for which FAU, Max Planck and Scripps Florida neuroscientists are engaged in exhibit design. FAU Brain Institute leaders, Drs. Blakely and Baganz, are formal members of the exhibit advisory board and have worked closely with museum leadership since the exhibits inception. The exhibit will provide multiple opportunities for ASCEND program fellows to collaborate on brain-themed learning experiences, both formally and informally. Examples of such activities can include participation as exhibit docents and provision of hands-on augmentation activities (e.g. the use of head-cap EEG to demonstrate brain waves, human brain handling in coordination with MR-based brain visualization software, and VR headset demonstrations of nerve cell structure and function) as well as working with SFSCA staff in their visits to local schools and learning centers.
Nikon Instruments, Inc.
Nikon is a world-renowned brand, firmly established as a market leader in optical instrumentation and the only microscope company to manufacture its own glass, ensuring the very finest quality assurance throughout production. Now celebrating 100 years of expertise in the field, Nikon has always been at the forefront of optical and technological innovation, promoting creativity and trustworthiness as part of the company’s global mission statement. In 2017, the Florida Atlantic University Brain Institute was designated a Nikon Center of Excellence, with Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D. serving as Center Director. This designation supports collaborations in instrumentation design and implementation. Centers of Excellence represent partnerships and exchange of knowledge with specific research centers to provide access to advanced Nikon instrumentation, giving senior and young investigators use of cutting edge imaging platforms at reduced cost. In addition to providing access to their faculty of state-of-the-art instrumentation, Centers of Excellence provide training courses on basic and advanced microscopy techniques and act as a training location for Nikon staff. In relation to the current application, the partnership will provide the ASCEND Program with opportunities to demonstrate leading edge technologies for the “wow factor” of visualizing life in 3D, in multicolor, and with the motion of real life. The facilities developed through the ongoing FAI-Nikon partnership serve as a model for the ASCEND program to reach out to the biotechnology community where opportunities to exposure to cutting edge technologies that populate modern neuroscience can be demonstrated for junior mentees.