Profs. Sacha Nelson and John Lisman (BIOL) have received research grants from the National Institutes of Health under President Barack Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, Initiative, according to an Oct. 7 BrandeisNOW article.

Nelson and Lisman were among the first researchers to receive research funds through the BRAIN Initiative.

Nelson’s team received $3.4 million “to research how neuronal cell types evolved,” according to the article. Lisman’s team received $1.95 million “to explore how brain cells work together to remember a sequence of events, like a route,” BrandeisNOW reported.

Prof. Eve Marder (BIOL) is a member of the Initiative’s advisory board, “charged with defining the project and its goals,” according to BrandeisNOW. She joined 13 other scientists to form the “brain trust” to direct the project, according to an April 9, 2013 Justice article. As a part of the trust, she helped to formulate some of the funding plans on NIH’s part of the initiative.

“I think this confirms that despite the small size of our University, Brandeis competes favorably with the top programs in Neuroscience across the country,” Nelson wrote in an email to the Justice.

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The purpose of the BRAIN Initiative is to research all levels of brain function and to provide insight on diseases and disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and autism, according to the Justice article.