"Dr. Feinstein is an excellent and enthusiastic leader," said Steve Gaines, acting vice chancellor for research, in announcing the appointment.
Feinstein earned his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco. Subsequently, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine until 1986, when he joined the faculty at UCSB. He served as interim director of the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) from April 2001 until present, and as associate director from 1994 to 2001. In addition, he served as chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology between 1998 and 2001.
The mission of the Neuroscience Research Institute is to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary neuroscience research. NRI faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students and staff conduct cutting-edge research, focused primarily at the cellular and molecular levels, aimed at understanding mechanisms underlying the normal development and function of the nervous system, as well as mechanisms causing various neurodegenerative conditions. Work in the institute integrates the tools and strategies of modern molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, biopsychology, biochemistry, physiology, biophysics and bioengineering.
In addition, three centers have been established within the NRI to focus on specific areas of neurological biomedical importance: the Center for the Study of Macular Degeneration, the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and the Center for Neurodegenerative Disorders.