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White House Proposes $110 Million in Funding for Human Brain Research

03-Apr-2013 President Obama announced  a $110 million effort to advance human brain research that could be used to treat a range of neurological conditions, including traumatic brain injury. The President said he will include the funding for the “Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies” (BRAIN) Initiative, already underway at the NIH, in his 2014 budget.

If the initiative is funded in 2014, the National Institutes of Health would allocate $40 million to the project, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) would allocate $50 million and the National Science Foundation would allocate $20 million. The groups would work with other private and public entities to accelerate research to map and understand the human brain, with the goal of being better able to diagnose and treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injury and memory loss. The NIH is establishing an Advisory Committee to the NIH Director to steer the new initiative. Dr. Cornelia Bargmann of the Rockefeller University and Dr. William Newsome of Stanford University will co-chair the Committee, which will develop a multi-year scientific plan, including goals, timetables, milestones and cost estimates. The Committee will seek input from the scientific community and patient advocates and will produce an interim report by fall 2013 that will contain specific recommendations on high priority investments for FY 2014. The final report will be delivered to the NIH Director in June of next year.

A graphic providing cursory detail of the initiative and a brief video by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of National Institutes of Health is available on the White House website, which outlines the collaborative effort of the BRAIN Initiative. The White House “Fact Sheet: BRAIN Initiative” further details the scope of this joint plan.

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