MAR 13, 2019 7:00 AM PDT

NIH BRAIN Funding Opportunities: NIH BRAIN Initiative and Functional Human Neuroscience

Presented at: Neuroscience 2019
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
  • Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
      Dr. Jim Gnadt, NINDS Program Director in Systems and Computational Neuroscience and Team Lead for the NIH BRAIN Integrative and Quantitative Approaches, has worked in systems and cognitive neuroscience and neuroengineering for over 35 years. He has held his current position at NINDS, the neurology institute of NIH, since 2008, and has been a principal in the NIH BRAIN Initiative since its inception in 2014 where he co-leads the team of trans-NIH Program Directors in the 'understanding circuits' part of the initiative. Dr. Gnadt manages a diverse NIH funding portfolio in systems and computational neuroscience, including experimental programs in integrated, team-science approaches and in intracranial opportunities for investigative human neuroscience. In collaboration with NIH review offices, Dr. Gnadt has developed tools to understand the precision of NIH review scoring and methods to convey its margins of uncertainty.
      Prior to taking the position at NINDS, Dr. Gnadt was an NIH-funded investigator since 1984, working on sleep physiology related to narcolepsy, quantitative neurophysiologic approaches in cognitive neuroscience, systems engineering to understand neural circuit dynamics, and neurological etiologies of eye behavior pathologies. Facilitating translation of curiosity-driven, fundamental biology into human impacts remains the focus of Dr. Gnadt's efforts at the NIH.
    • Program Director, BRAIN Initiative, (National Institutes of Health) & Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience, (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
        Karen David currently oversees the Circuits and Integrated Approaches portfolio of the BRAIN initiative. She joined the Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience cluster in 2013. Over the years, she has served the BRAIN Initiative in various capacities, including as Project Officer, Scientific Review Officer, and Program Analyst to her current role as Program Director. Karen has also worked on various special projects including coordinating the review activities of the Biospecimen Repository Acquisition Committee (BRAC) for the Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program. Before joining extramural research, Karen did her postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She earned a B.S. from the University of the Philippines and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


      NIH representatives from the BRAIN Initiative will be presenting an overview of the NIH BRAIN Initiative and describing funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) supporting impacts in human neuroscience. Guided by BRAIN 2025 A Scientific Vision, we have designed a portfolio of “Integrated Approaches” FOAs that support research in functional systems neuroscience to produce a dynamic picture of the brain that will show how individual cells and complex neural circuits support processes such as sensation, perception, attention, reasoning, intention, decision-making, emotion, navigation, communication, and homeostasis. These FOAs emphasize the use of cutting-edge methods of activation and recording to understand a quantifiable behavior at the level of circuit mechanisms. As such, research approaches are expected to include the functional units of circuits – that is, the activity patterns of ensembles of cells with sub-second temporal resolution, or finer. In addition, under the premise that model-driven experimental design and computational approaches can facilitate high-quality science, all these FOAs encourage or require sophisticated quantitative methodology. 

      The NIH BRAIN Initiative is also committed to extending its “Integrated Approaches” within investigative human neuroscience.  Invasive surgical procedures provide the unique ability to record and stimulate neurons within precisely localized brain structures.  Therefore, we offer dedicated FOAs that seek to assemble diverse, integrated, multi-disciplinary teams that cross boundaries of interdisciplinary collaboration to investigate high-impact questions in human neuroscience.  Awardees participate in a consortium work group to identify consensus standards of practice, including neuroethical considerations, to collect and provide data for ancillary studies, and to standardize data for dissemination among the wider scientific community.  In addition to these human study FOAs, we also support large, multi-component programs that encourage multi-species and multi-scale approaches to investigate fundamental questions in systems neuroscience.  One version of these team-research programs specifically allows comparative, human research components as mechanistic studies into the special opportunities offered by direct access to intra-cranial human recording and stimulating.  

      Thus, we are pleased here to feature some of the NIH BRAIN awardees in human neuroscience, research tool development, and neuroethics.  

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