The BRAIN Blog

Latest from The BRAIN Blog

The BRAIN Blog covers updates and announcements on BRAIN Initiative research, events, and news. 

Hear from BRAIN Initiative trainees, learn about new scientific advancements, and find out about recent funding opportunities by visiting The BRAIN Blog.

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black and white image of people working on laptops at a counter height table on stools at the annual BRAIN meeting

From the BRAIN Director: Personalized Cures on the Horizon - A Fresh Take on Established Technologies

Technology is the backbone of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® Initiative, or The BRAIN Initiative®. In a virtuous cycle of technology and knowledge, new tools open doors for discovery, which in turn drive the design of new and better tools.
  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: Expanding the impact of neuroscience research

The BRAIN Initiative continues to fund cross-cutting and accelerated discovery in neuroscience across a diverse network of institutions and organizations, laboratories, researcher fields, and geographic locations. 
  • Neuroscience Grants and Funding
  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: Q&A With Dr. John Ngai and Dr. Rebecca Baker - Discovery of Brain Biomarkers for Pain and Beyond

The human brain has been intensely studied by scientists for decades. This research has taught us that some health conditions share underlying biology – for example, pain, addiction, and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: The Value of Model Organisms for Understanding the Human Brain

Humans are complex beings, but our inner workings operate using basic biological processes shaped and repurposed over hundreds of millions of years of evolution. By providing critical insights into these processes, decades of research using model organisms has been central to progress toward understanding and treating a range of human diseases – including neurologic, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative conditions.

  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

In years past, attending the annual late-fall meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) was a busy and at times tedious ritual. Months after submitting abstracts comes the frenzied work of putting together posters and slides and leaving our homes and labs for several days. Upon arrival, though, my mood quickly shifts to anticipation and excitement as new results are shared, new collaborations are hatched, and long-distance friendships are renewed or made anew.

  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: Sizing Up Science

In my daily discussions with the BRAIN community, I hear the tension between small and big science: a proxy argument for exploring biology versus building tools. Individual labs do creative biology, so why fund large teams that churn out lots of data but aren’t testing hypotheses?

My answer is simple: Diseases don’t care about funding mechanisms.

  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: What’s the Payoff?

Last week marked my second anniversary as BRAIN Director, an amazing opportunity and challenge for which I am deeply grateful. Over the past two years, I’ve strived to maintain perspective about all that we do, and to be guided by others’ views and critiques. People often ask me, “What’s the payoff, and when will we see it?” These questions are important, considering the magnitude of BRAIN investments and the promises we’ve made to better understand neural circuit function and develop new cures.

  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: The Great Unknown

Imagine looking up on a clear night and instead of seeing the giant celestial smear that is the Milky Way, visualizing every individual star as a crystal-clear sparkle of light. That was my reaction 8 years ago when I laid eyes on the first data to emerge from the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Consortium.

  • Neuroscience Research and Technology

From the BRAIN Director: New Perspectives

More than two years into a global pandemic, we’ve all had to figure out new ways of living and working. For many, including myself, days of the week and months of the year have seemingly blended together into one continuous blur. I remember, just after COVID-19 hit, trying to find a way to navigate this absurdly strange time warp with one of my enduring passions: photography.

  • Neuroscience News

From the BRAIN Director: Reflecting on Another Year of Exciting BRAIN Research

The National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative continues to grow as reflected by more than 200 new research projects funded in fiscal year 2021, totaling over $540 million.

  • Neuroscience News