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GEN News Highlights : Dec 18, 2013

NIH Makes $40M Available

NIH has begun soliciting requests for the $40 million in grant funding set aside by the federal government under President Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

NIH said yesterday its first wave of spending in the BRAIN initiative will focus largely on technology development designed to advance basic science. Awards are expected to be announced in September 2014.

The six funding opportunities unveiled by NIH correspond to high priority areas identified in September by an advisory committee to the director’s BRAIN Working Group. NIH is seeking applications that request funds for:

  • Proof-of-concept testing and developing new technologies and novel approaches for large-scale recording and manipulation of neural activity (RFA-NS-14-007);
  • Optimizing existing and emerging technologies and approaches that have potential to address major challenges associated with recording and manipulating neural activity, with cellular resolution, at multiple spatial and temporal scales, in any region and throughout the entire depth of the brain (RFA-NS-14-008);
  • Integrated development of experimental, analytic, and theoretical capabilities for large-scale analysis of neural systems and circuits (RFA-NS-14-009);
  • Generating an inventory/cell census of cell types in the brain (RFA-MH-14-215);
  • Developing and validating novel tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of complex circuits and provide insights into cellular interactions that underlie brain function (RFA-MH-14-216)
  • Planning activities and initial stages of development of entirely new or next-generation brain imaging technologies and methods (RFA-MH-14-217);

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to develop new technologies that will allow us to map the circuits of the brain, measure activity within those circuits, and understand how their interactions maintain health and modulate human behavior,” NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement.

NIH’s $40 million is part of an overall $110 million expected to be spent on BRAIN in FY 2014 by NIH and two other federal agencies, National Science Foundation, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).