The University of California, Berkeley is partnering with the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle on a $65.5 million, five-year effort to count, catalog and connect the many different cell types in the mouse brain, as a foundation for doing the same for the human brain. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Allen Institute-led consortium represents an international team of scientists that will construct a comprehensive whole-brain atlas of cell types, essentially a parts list of the mouse brain. The team will put in their efforts to identify, classify and characterize all the cell types in the mouse brain and understand how they work to serve as a basis for understanding how the human brain functions in health and disease. This initiative is part of the federal government’s BRAIN Initiative, announced in 2013 with the ultimate goal of understanding brain circuits well enough to devise new therapies for diseases of the human brain and nervous system. In addition to John Ngai and Hongkui Zeng from UC Berkeley, the principal investigators are David Anderson and Lior Pachter from the California Institute of Technology, Xiaowei Zhuang from Harvard University, Andreas Tolias from Baylor College of Medicine, and UC Berkeley CCB faculty Sandrine Dudoit and Elizabeth Purdom.
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