Stanford Neurosciences Institute announces second round of Big Ideas


The Stanford Neurosciences Institute has chosen four new projects for its second round of Big Ideas grants, which funds major interdisciplinary research initiatives aimed at driving the next breakthroughs in brain science.

Big Ideas was conceived in 2013, after William Newsome, a professor of neurobiology and the Vincent V.C. Woo Director of the Neurosciences Institute, and the Executive Committee met with many faculty affiliates. The faculty sought ways to work together in teams to tackle deep questions about neuroscience and its interactions with society, engineering, medicine and other disciplines.

The first round of Big Ideas, launched in 2014, includes projects aimed at understanding drug addiction, reversing aging in the brain and developing brain-machine interfaces. The second round was chosen after the Institute invited eight full proposals from 17 initial letters of intent.

The four projects selected for this second round of Big Ideas include efforts to track brain development, better understand psychiatric illness, treat nervous system disorders and create new methods for studying the brain. The researchers behind those projects come from departments across campus, including genetics, biology, psychology and computer science.

Each of the four new teams will receive up to $700,000 over the next two years, with the possibility of additional funding in the years to follow. The teams are: