The National Institutes of Health has announced 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 U.S. and eight other countries. The 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.
In 2014, President Barack 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. The new tools should catalyze new treatments and cures for brain disorders and diseases that are estimated by the World Health Organization to affect more than 1 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,” which details seven high-priority research areas. Last year, NIH awarded $46 million to BRAIN Initiative research.