Salk Institute to lead $126 million effort to map the aging human brain

LA JOLLA—With a five-year, $126 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a team led by Salk Institute scientists has launched a new Center for Multiomic Human Brain Cell Atlas. Part of the NIH’s Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative, the project aims to describe the cells that make up the human brain in unprecedented molecular detail, classify brain cells into more precise subtypes, and pinpoint the location of each cell in the brain. What’s more, the team will track how these features change from early to late life.

The goal is to better understand how neurotypical human brains work and age. The project will also establish a baseline against which scientists will be able to compare brains with neurological or psychiatric conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, depression and traumatic brain injury.

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