Unraveling the brain’s secrets

November 27, 2017
STORM image of a novel periodic, actin-spectrin based cytoskeleton in axons

Professor Xiaowei Zhuang joins a team of interdisciplinary Harvard and international researchers to unravel one of the most mysterious frontiers of the human body: the human brain.

Over $150 million from the National Institute of Health's Brain Research and Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative will support an ambitious goal to gather "molecular, anatomical, and functional data about brain cells" to "speed our understanding of how cells and circuits are organized," according to NIH Director Francis S. Collins. For her part, Zhuang, and researchers at the Allen Institute, will apply the high-throughput sequencing and imaging technologies she developed in her lab to identify and organize specific cell types and genes into an "atlas."

This latest project overlaps with Zhuang's collaboration with the Human Cell Atlas, a consortium of researchers whose mission is to "create comprehensive reference maps of all human cells--the fundamental units of life--as a basis for both understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease."

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Harvard Gazette

Unraveling the brain’s secrets

National Institute of Health’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative


See also: Faculty, Research, Zhuang