NIH totals $85M for BRAIN initiative in 2015

The National Institutes of Health has shared its second wave of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, bringing the NIH investment to $85 million in fiscal year 2015.

Sixty-seven new awards, totaling more than $38 million, will go to 131 investigators working at 125 institutions in the United States and eight other countries, NIH has said.

According to NIH, these awards expand NIH’s efforts to develop new tools and technologies to understand neural circuit function and capture a dynamic view of the brain in action. Projects include proposals to develop soft self-driving electrodes, ultrasound methods for measuring brain activity and the use of deep brain stimulation to treat traumatic brain injuries.

NIH reminds that in 2014, the US President Obama launched the BRAIN Initiative as a large-scale effort to equip researchers with fundamental insights necessary for treating a wide variety of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.

These new tools and this deeper understanding, NIH says, will ultimately catalyze new treatments and cures for devastating brain disorders and diseases that are estimated by the World Health Organization to affect more than one billion people worldwide.

Planning for the NIH component of the BRAIN initiative is guided by the long-term scientific plan, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision that details seven high priority research areas. NIH noted that last year it had awarded $46 million to BRAIN Initiative research.

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