As directors of two NIH institutes supporting neuroscience research, we explore the gap between 25 years of stunning progress in fundamental neuroscience and the persistent needs of those with brain disorders. We conclude that closing this gap will require a more detailed comprehension of brain function, a rethinking of how we approach translational science, a focus on human neurobiology, and a continuing commitment to build a diverse, innovative neuroscience workforce. In contrast to many other areas of medicine, we lack basic knowledge about our organ of interest. The next phase of progress on brain disorders will require a significantly deeper understanding of fundamental neurobiology.
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