NIH awards grants for brain cell atlas

By staff writers

October 26, 2017 -- The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the University of Pennsylvania two grants totaling $3.9 million to develop the first 3D digital atlas of brain cell types.

The university's Perelman School of Medicine will collaborate with the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Broad Institute, and the University of California, San Diego.

The atlas will feature data from the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Cell Census Network. It will serve as a hub for information such as location, structure, function, molecular properties, and connectedness to other cells, which will be used to classify and catalog cell types in the brain.

"An atlas of this kind is one of the most promising ways of advancing our understanding of both the healthy and diseased human brain by increasing comprehension of its components," said James Gee, PhD, director of the Penn Image Computing and Science Laboratory.

Copyright © 2017

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