The BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network (BICAN) aims to build reference brain cell atlases that will be widely used throughout the research community, providing a molecular and anatomical foundational framework for the study of brain function and disorders.
BICAN supports eleven grants projected to total $100 million annually over 5 years. The aim of these awards is to generate complete reference atlases of brain cell types in human, non-human primates, and mouse across the lifespan, which can be shared and used throughout the research community. In addition to developing a “parts list” detailing the vast array of neurons and non-neuronal cells in the human brain, the project also aims to map cell interactions that underlie a wide range of brain disorders.
BICAN is one of three NIH BRAIN Initiative transformative projects outlined in The BRAIN Initiative® 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures report. Together with the BRAIN Initiative Connectivity Across Scales (BRAIN CONNECTS) Network and the Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access, these large-scale projects promise to transform neuroscience research, illuminating foundational principles governing the circuit basis of behavior and informing new approaches to the treatment of human brain disorders.