President Obama will launch a $100 million human brain research program at the White House on Tuesday that could develop new ways to treat autism, Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.
The White House has dubbed the program the BRAIN Initiative, and it follows up Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address, where he called for more investment in research and development. An administration official said the $100 million needed to launch the program will come from the National Institute of Health, the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.
The administration said in a statement that the initiative will speed up new technologies to enable researchers to learn “how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought.”
“These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior,” the White House said.
The National Institutes of Health will establish a working group co-chaired by Dr. Cornelia Bargmann of the Rockefeller University and Dr. William Newsome of Stanford University to define detailed scientific goals for the NIH’s investment and to develop a multi-year scientific plan for achieving these goals.