BRAIN Initiative doles out $46M in neurological research grants

Lasers that can flip cells off and on and brain scanners that can be worn are just two projects receiving federal grants as a part of the $100 million BRAIN Initiative aimed to learn more about the inner-workings of the brain.

The Initiative, which stands for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN), was established in 2013 and affiliated studies represent a full spectrum of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia.

"The human brain is the most complicated biological structure in the known universe,” said Dr. Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the federal agency distributing the $46 million in grants, in this Reuters report. “We’ve only just scratched the surface in understanding how it works — or, unfortunately, doesn't quite work when disorders and disease occur."