Together with their sister institutes in China, the MIT McGovern Institute or Brain Research hosted a full day symposium covering cross-disciplinary approaches aimed at understanding the brain in health and disease. The symposium honored and reflected on the legacy and vision of the co-founder, Patrick J. McGovern, who passed away almost exactly five years prior. Speakers included Lore Harp McGovern, Patrick’s wife and co-founder of the McGovern Institute, Phillip Sharp, the founding director, and Robert Desimone, the current director. He and several other scientists, including Feng Zhang, Rebecca Saxe, Yanchao Bi, Huihui Zhou, Ed Boyden, Nancy Kanwisher, Songhai Shi, Ann Graybiel, and Guoping Feng, spoke on the brain research topics they investigate. Talks covered neuroscience at the cellular, molecular, and systems levels, as well as advances in computational and cognitive neuroscience.