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Big Ideas in Neuroscience: Eight interdisciplinary initiatives advance to full proposal stage

Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Big Ideas, neuroscience
Jul 2 2018

The Stanford Neurosciences Institute propels research on the brain and behavior through collaborative research teams, interdisciplinary strategies and technological breakthroughs, many of them supported through the Institute’s Big Ideas: transformative research in neuroscience in the brain sciences.

The second round of Big Ideas selection has begun, and the Institute is pleased to announce that it has selected eight Big Ideas Letters of Intent for development into full proposals. These initiatives envision new partnerships between the neurosciences and other academic disciplines. The ultimate goals of these partnerships are to stimulate breakthrough research in the brain sciences and to enhance the research and teaching capabilities of Stanford University. Final selection of Big Ideas proposals will be announced in Fall 2018.

The following teams have been invited to submit proposals describing their initiatives.

  • Neuro-omics
    Alice Ting
    , Liqun Luo and Stephen Quake
    Advancing understanding of the neural basis of behavior by developing and disseminating methods for studying the genome, proteins and neural networks at work in the brain.
  • Human brain organogenesis
    Sergiu Pasca and Karl Deisseroth
    Developing brain organoids – three dimensional brain cultures – in the lab and in animals to study human brain development, evolution and neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Real-time biosensors for measuring multiple neuromodulators in the brain
    H. Tom Soh and Karen J. Parker
    Creating technology to simultaneously map multiple neuromodulators, such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, with high spatial and temporal resolution.
  • NeuroPlant
    Miriam B. Goodman and Thomas R. Clandinin
    Building a systematic pipeline to explore the neuroactive chemicals plants synthesize to defend against insects and worms, which could lead to new treatments for nervous system dysfunction.
  • Neuromarker Collaborative
    Leanne Williams
    Probing the world’s leading cause of disability, depression, using computational models to integrate data from brain scans, novel skin-like physiological sensors, and individuals’ subjective experiences.
  • The Brain Vitals Project
    Amit Etkin and Russell Poldrack
    Leveraging conceptual advances in neuroscience and new data analytic strategies to develop individualized, objective markers of psychiatric disease and treatment outcomes.
  • Neurodevelopment: Elucidating the development of brain structure, function, and computations
    Kalanit Grill-Spector and Daniel Yamins
    Investigating how the brain develops from infancy to adulthood across species, focusing on how the interplay between structural development, functional development, experience and affect brain computations at the neural level.
  • Adaptive rewiring of neural circuits to promote health and alleviate disease using VR/AR-technology
    Andrew Huberman, Jeremy Bailenson and Casey Halpern
    Uncovering the neural circuits in the brain underlying anxiety and fear using techniques virtual and augmented reality, and treating those conditions with implanted electrodes, transcranial magnetic stimulation and ultrasound.

The Stanford Neurosciences Institute Executive Committee expresses its appreciation to the Big Ideas review committee for reviewing and providing critical feedback regarding the Letters of Intent.