1,25 million dollars for mapping human neurons

Huib Mansvelder (CNCR) and his team receive 1,25 miljoen dollar from the American NIH for their research on human brain cells. The grant is part of a consortium proposal lead by the Allen Institute for Brain Science to construct ‘A multimodal atlas of human brain cell types’. The aim of the research project is to characterize human cell types in three modalities: gene expression, morphology and electrophysiology. Using the latest single cell RNAseq technology in combination with recordings from live human brain cells, it is now possible to map these three modalities of individual neurons. The project will focus on the human cerebral cortex, but RNAseq analysis of neurons will be done on many subcortical areas of the human brain as well.

The total grant awarded is close to 25 million dollars for five years, and is part of the Brain Initiative Program launched by former president Obama in 2013. The consortium consists of five institutes: VU Amsterdam, Allen Institute of Brain Science Seattle, Karolinska Institute Stockholm, University of Szeged, and Hebrew University Jerusalem. The main applicant is the Allen Institute, which is financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The visualized connections between brain areas in the human brain