BRAIN 2015 Digest – 3/9 to 3/13/15

BRAIN 2015 Weekly Digest  3/9 to 3/13

The focus for this week was on curating high level overview posts of The BRAIN Initiative.

The BRAIN Initiative

BRAIN Initiative Overview

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.

The BRAIN Initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought. These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain encodes, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior

Advisory Committee to Director

The Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) working group is a high-level working group established by NIH Director Francis Collins to help shape the vision of the BRAIN Initiative. The working group, co-chaired by Dr. Cornelia “Cori” Bargmann (The Rockefeller University) and Dr. William Newsome (Stanford University), incorporated broad input from the scientific community, patient advocates, and the general public. Their report, released in June 2014, articulated the scientific goals of the BRAIN Initiative and developed a multi-year scientific plan for achieving these goals, including timetables, milestones, and cost estimates.

Cori Bargmann

Neurobiologist based at Rockefeler University is known for her work on the behavior in the C. elegans, particularly olfaction in the worm.

Cori Bargmann was awarded the Kavli Prizein 2012 and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2013. Bargmann is Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at Rockefeller University and head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior.

Bargmann is the co-chair of the BRAIN Initiative Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD)

The BRAIN Initiative Service Mark

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has filed a trademark (service mark) application for the word mark “The BRAIN Initiative” on December 16, 2013. Serial number is: 86144997.

Harvard also filed in October 2, 2014 for the design/word mark “Harvard Brain Initiative” and published it for opposition on Feb. 17, 2015. No registration number has been posted on the USPTO.GOV website for either application as of March 18, 2015.


BRAIN Awards and New Funding Opportunities

NIH announced its initial $46 million investment for the BRAIN Initiative reseach on September 30, 2014.

These projects lay the groundwork for visualizing the brain in action. More than 100 investigators in 15 states and several countries will work to develop new tools and technologies to understand neural circuit function and capture a dynamic view of the brain in action.

Funding opportunites for fiscal year 2016 were announced on Janurary 13, 2015.


NIH Institutes and The BRAIN Initiative

National Eye Institute
National Institute on Aging
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group met at the Neuroscience Center Building.

The meeting agenda included discussion of BRAIN research supported by NIH, neuroethics, and presentations on BRAIN-related activities supported by the four additional Federal agencies involved in The BRAIN Initiative: DARPA, NSF, the FDA, and IARPA.

The meeting was open to the public and videocast can be accessed from this post.


BRAIN participants beyond NIH

In addition to the National Institute of Health’s 10 Institutes and other programs spearheading the BRAIN Initiative, numerous other Federal agencies, companies, universities, private research centers, and universities are participating.

Over $300 million has been pledged to support the BRAIN Initiative. The five participating federal agencies are NIH, NSF, DARPA, FDA and IARPA. Major non-governmental commitments have come from numerous participants including the original private sector partners – Allen Institute, HHMI, and Kavli Foundation.


Krasnow Monday Seminar 3/23/15 Eric Betzig

TOPIC: Imaging Life at High Spatiotemporal Resolution

SPEAKER: Eric Betzig (Group Leader, Janelia Research Campus, HHMI)

DATE: Monday, March 23, 2015 TIME: 4:00-5:00 pm

LOCATION: Lecture Room (Room 229) Krasnow Institute Building, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

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