What is the BRAIN Initiative?

October 1, 2015

Northwestern University, Chicago Campus, Baldwin Auditorium
303 East Superior Street, Chicago, IL, USA

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The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or “BRAIN Initiative,” is a major research program recently announced by the National Institute of Health.

The human brain is unique among animals for its size and for the cognitive power that it produces; it is the most remarkable trait that humans possess. The brain is not just the most complex organ in the human body – in fact, it is the most complex structure in the known universe. It has been a subject of study for thousands of years, but we have barely begun to glimpse how it works. This is particularly true when we compare the brain to other organs, like the heart, lungs or kidney. Scientists have a very good understanding of how these organs work, and are able to use this knowledge as a framework for understanding problems that can occur and how to fix them. This is not true of the brain.

Neurological and psychological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, addiction, and traumatic brain injury affect tens of millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions of people worldwide. These medical disorders are all located in the brain. Although great strides have been made in understanding and treating many of these conditions, scientists and doctors will have a much better chance of dealing with these disorders when they better understand how the brain functions.

The BRAIN Initiative aims to make a big push in understanding the structure and function of the human brain. It has been compared to the Human Genome Project for its scope and the importance of what it offers. This program, presented in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and the Chicago Society for Neuroscience, will help bring this research initiative into the public eye and raise awareness of this vital research.

Event Details

Thursday, October 1st, 2015.
Wine and cheese social hour at 5:00pm, program starts at 6:00pm.

Event is free and open to the public.

Discounted parking is available to the first 50 attendees, at the 202 E Huron parking garage. Ask at the C2ST registration table, and you can purchase a ticket to exit the garage at a discounted rate.
Hughes auditorium is easily accessible via public transportation.

CAN’T JOIN US LIVE? jOIN VIA LIVE STREAM. Tune in at 6 pm CDT to stream the program: https://www.youtube.com/user/C2STvideos The program will remain on our YouTube channel to view at your leisure if you can’t tune in on Oct. 1

Catch a sneak peek of the program now! Bobby Kasthuri and John Maunsell joined PBS station WTTW11’s Chicago Tonight to talk about the Brain Initiative: