Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has played a pioneering role in mapping the brain’s neural networks. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $2 million grant to a team of investigators including CSHL Professor Anthony Zador for their work in brain mapping technology. The grant is part of a newly launched program called BRAIN CONNECTS. Its ultimate goal is to generate a detailed brain atlas, which may reveal new ways to treat and prevent neurological disorders. Zador and CSHL Professor Partha Mitra are among the first BRAIN CONNECTS grant recipients.
Zador’s lab invented MAP-seq and BAR-seq, two revolutionary tools that enable scientists to track thousands of individual neurons across the brain. Zador and collaborators have added another tool to their toolkit—RaBID-seq. This new sequencing technique uses the rabies virus to rapidly map brain circuits and gene activity. Through BRAIN CONNECTS, Zador and his team will work to make RaBID-seq faster and more affordable. The project may someday help bring brain mapping to clinics around the world.
“I am honored to be among the first recipients of the BRAIN CONNECTS grant,” Zador says. “There are many mysteries remaining about how our brains work and are wired. This award provides an exciting opportunity to develop next-generation technology to explore that uncharted territory.”