This morning, I woke up to multiple texts and three emails about the new BRAIN initiative. This either means that a) I have too many friends that work in government or b) that I tend to be the only neuroscientist my friends know. Either way, it’s an exciting day!
President Obama announced the BRAIN initiative, a new plan to support neuroscience research and growth in the US. “The BRAIN initiative will [give] scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action.” The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative is an aggressive plan to support and fund innovative techniques that attempt to map and characterize the human brain. The White House released a very useful fact sheet on the key components of the plan, which I highly recommend reading. They also held a Q&A session which was really interesting.
Here are the highlights:
The NIH working group, which will work on defining a more specific scientific plan for upcoming years, will be co-chaired by Dr. Cori Bargmann (The Rockefeller University) and Dr. William Newsome (Stanford University). Bill Newsome is a collaborator of ours here at Stanford and it’s really exciting to see him receive such an amazing opportunity to impact the future direction of neuroscience (outside of the already pioneering work he has already done in the field.)