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Obama Unveils Vast Brain-Mapping Project
Date:4/3/2013

gencies -- the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation -- are involved. A working group at the NIH, headed by Cornelia Bargmann of Rockefeller University and William Newsome of Stanford University, will define the goals and develop a multi-year plan.

In a statement, the White House named the private-sector partners as The Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Kavli Foundation, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Supporters of the initiative said it could have an impact similar to the Soviet Sputnik satellite in the 1950s, when the United States responded with a significant nationwide effort to invest in science and technology, according to the Times.

And scientists hailed the premise.

"Right now, a billion people worldwide suffer from brain disorders and we have very little capacity to prevent them, treat them, or cure them. Making the 'Brain' project a high priority for decades to come should have a very powerful impact on disorders of the human brain," said John Morrison, dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

He added, "It will elevate our capacity to develop prevention strategies, treatment, and cures over the next few decades, with the clearest target being Alzheimer's disease... The neuroscience community is extremely pleased to see the brain put at such a high priority by the White House."

Harry Johns, president of the Alzheimer's Association and a member of the National Alzheimer's Plan Advisory Committee, added, "The Alzheimer's Association applauds the President for underscoring the critical need for research to better understand the mysteries of the brain."

Dr. Raj K. Narayan, director of North Shore-LIJ's Cushing Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y., said the "initiative has the potential of turbo-chargi
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