Through a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley and UCSF, BRAINseed hopes to kickstart innovative but risky brain research. The partnership hopes to yield discoveries that accelerate President Barack Obama’s national BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative and California’s own Cal-BRAIN (California Blueprint for Research to Advance Innovations in Neuroscience) Initiative.
The six winning projects focus on new methods of mapping the brain and studying neurons deeper in the brain than ever before. The Foundry's Bruce Cohen will join a team that hopes to probe cell-to-cell communication deeper in the brain using specially designed nanocrystals. Meanwhile, the Foundry's Jim Schuck will add his expertise to a group working on the use of ultrasound to create ‘waveguides’ that can steer light below the surface of the brain's cortex, stimulating photoswitches that enable the study of neurotransmitters.