The Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research is a center dedicated to theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. Egon Spengler worked for the Institute between the events of the Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
The Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research is an independent research facility located somewhere on the campus of Columbia University. After the dissolution of the Ghostbusters following the Gozer Incident, Egon worked at the Institute. Other than collecting data on the human emotional states, in regards to a theory on its effect on the psychomagnotheric energy field, the full nature of his research is unknown. Egon was aided by a team of graduate students. In late 1989, Dana Barrett visited Egon at the Institute to seek out his help. At the time, he was studying the effect of room temperatures an unsuspecting couple in need of marriage counseling, the happiness index, and the affection test through two-way mirrors. At the time, he used a Monitor 4 Radiation Detector device to monitor human emotions. Dana told Egon about the incident where her baby carriage took off on its on and how it ended right in the middle of traffic on First Avenue. Egon leaned over and wrote something then stood up straight and turned around while Dana told her story. He asked her if anyone else saw it happen and grabbed a thin printout. Dana noted hundreds of people saw it and assured him she didn't imagine it. Egon explained in science they always looked for the simplest explanation.
One of Egon's assistants told him they were ready. Egon walked over to a large glass window. A camcorder was set up to record. Egon was pleased and stated they would start with the negative calibration. Dana asked him what he was working on. Egon explained he was trying to determine whether human emotions actually affect the physical environment and added it was a theory he and Ray had when they were still Ghostbusters. Egon and Dana observed the couple through a two way mirror. The husband was yelling inaudibly. Dana asked if the couple could see them. Egon confirmed they could not and revealed he kept them waiting for two and a half hours while gradually increasing the temperature in the room. He noted it was now up to ninety-five degrees at the moment. He pointed out his assistant was asking them if they would mind waiting another half hour. The husband became angrier. The wife said something. He threw down his coat jacket and pounded against the wall in frustration. The assistant left the room. Egon examined his readings and was very pleased. Dana asked him what he thought. He found it excellent then turned to his other assistant. He wanted to do the happiness index next. Dana clarified she meant the carriage. Egon wrote down some notes then went to observe another room.
A little girl inside played with stuffed animals. He looked into a camcorder eyepiece then asked if it was okay to bring Ray Stantz in on it. Dana was fine with that but she was against Peter Venkman being involved. Egon quickly assured her he would not. She inquired if he ever saw Peter. Egon replied he did occasionally. He flipped some switches on a machine bank. She asked how Peter was doing. Egon noted he was was borderline for a while then he crossed the border. She asked if Peter ever mentioned her. Dana smiled in anticipation of a "yes" from Egon. He replied, "No." Dana's smile broke. Egon ran his Monitor 4 Radiation Detector over her while her back was turned to him. Dana admitted they did not part on very good terms and then sort of lost track of each other after she got married. Spengler's assistant walked up to them and alerted Egon they were ready for the affection test. Egon instructed her to send in the puppy. An adorable puppy was handed to a little girl in the observation room. Dana admitted she thought of getting in touch with Peter after her marriage ended then she noticed the girl and the puppy. They squatted low and watched the girl with the puppy. Dana told Egon she appreciated his help. Egon told her to try not to worry. They stood up and walked. Dana handed him a piece of paper with her phone number. He agreed to call her. She clarified she preferred him not to tell Peter anything. Egon promised he would not. She kissed him on the cheek and thanked him. Egon was pleased. After Dana left, he turned to his assistant and told her he wanted to see what would happen when they took away the puppy
- In the Ghostbusters II August 5, 1988 draft, the institute has a slightly longer name - The Einstein Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research.
- On page 16, Peter goes to the Institute to seek out Egon's help. Egon is lecturing a class on the subject of quantum theory. Peter's 'chicks really go for that big cranium' is used in this scene.
- In the September 29, 1988 draft:
- On page 10, Lane Walker, a character that temporarily replaced Dana in drafts, partly lied to her boss Jason Locke and she heads to the Institute to get Egon's help.
- In the November 27, 1988 and February 27, 1989 drafts:
- The Institute stood in where Avery Hall is located on the Columbia University campus. Avery Hall is where the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is located.
- On page six of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #17, the Brain Chart from Egon's lab in the Institute make a cameo in the room by the Firehouse's R&D lab.
- Abby Yates' biography in the interior right side of the Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal hardcover book jacket in Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) revealed she won the "Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research Prize for Students" twice.