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Brain researchers at U of M and Mayo Clinic get federal grants of $1.6 million

The two Minnesota institutions got a piece of the pie as the National Institutes of Health funded 46 projects through its “BRAIN” Initiative. 

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic have received major grants from the National Institutes of Health’s “BRAIN” Initiative, a national research effort to map the human brain in hopes of finding new ways to prevent and cure brain disorders. 

The NIH announced recently that the Minnesota researchers were among the 100 projects it was funding with $46 million in grants.

 The researchers are working on “new tools and technologies to understand neural circuit function and capture a dynamic view of the brain in action,” the NIH said. “These new tools and this deeper understanding will ultimately catalyze new treatments and cures for devastating brain disorders and diseases that are estimated by the World Health Organization to affect more than one billion people worldwide.”

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Two University of Minnesota projects were funded for “Next Generation Human Imaging”:

  • Wei Chen’s team will achieve unprecedented higher resolution magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy scanning by integrating ultra-high dielectric constant material and ultra-high-field techniques.
  • Michael Garwood and colleagues will employ smaller, less cumbersome magnets than used in existing MRI to create a downsized, portable, less expensive brain scanner.

The Mayo Clinic project involves “Large Scale Recording Modulation”:

  • Dr. Kendall Lee and his colleagues will develop diamond-coated electrodes to measure concentrations of the brain chemical dopamine more accurately and over long periods of time in the brain.