President Announces Funding for BRAIN Initiative

President Obama announced that he is proposing $100 million in federal research dollars toward a brain mapping initiative that will ultimately open the door to better treatment options for many brain conditions, including traumatic brain injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.

A commitment from the White House to delve into the inner workings of the brain is a large step forward for the neurological research community. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative aims to unravel the mystery of the structure, function, and development of the brain. Researchers across disciplines are enthusiastic about the gains that will be shared by all through deepening our understanding of the fundamental working of the brain. For the hydrocephalus community, specifically, the benefits of interdisciplinary and cross-condition research bring us hope that researchers can open the door to gain a better understanding into hydrocephalus and its diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately prevention.

The funding comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the intention of attracting partnerships among companies, research universities, foundations, and philanthropies. NIH will establish a working group to determine the goals of the Initiative and create a plan to achieve them. The working group will be chaired by Dr. Cornelia “Cori” Bargmann with The Rockefeller University and Dr. William Newsome from Stanford University. The White House states that funding details will be laid out in the President’s 2014 proposed budget, which is expected to go to Congress around April 10, 2013.

Click here to visit the White House Blog for the official announcement.

Click here to watch a video of President Obama proposing the BRAIN Initiative.

Click here to listen to Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, provide an overview of the BRAIN Initiative.

Photo Credit: (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

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