Human Brain Project program announcement

Peter Arzberger parzberg at nsf.gov
Wed Apr 14 13:45:52 EST 1993

Below please find the program announcement for the Human Brain
Project.  Some of the key dates have been indicated as well as
one type of proposals which is encouraged.
For further information, please contact (see end of
Michael Huerta, NIMN
Christiana Leonard, NSF
Dates for the submission of Phase I Human Brain Project
applications for Fiscal Year 1993 and review cycles are as
       Letter of intent                      April 19, 1993       
       Application receipt date              June 15, 1993        
       Administrative review                 June, 1993
       Scientific review                     July/August, 1993    
       Advisory Council review               September, 1993      
       Earliest starting date                September, 1993
Please note that although a letter of intent is not required, is
not binding, and does not enter into the review of subsequent
applications, the information that it contains is helpful in
planning for the review of applications.
In subsequent years, the dates for the submission of  Phase I
Human Brain Project applications and review cycles are as
       Letter of intent                       July 1
       Application receipt date               October 15
       Administrative review                  October
       Scientific review                      February/March      
       Advisory Council review                May/June
       Earliest starting date                 July
Also note that one mechanism for support, the R01 mechanism, can
be used for collaborative research initiation grants.  These will
foster the interactions of neuroscientists with computer and
mathematical scientists or engineers to design and implement
novel technological solutions to particular neuroscience
questions.Program Announcement  PA-93-068
The Human Brain Project:
Phase I Feasibility Studies
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Child Health and Human Development
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders (NIDCD)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Office of Naval Research (ONR)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
March 1993
The Human Brain Project is a broadly based federal research
initiative, supported by the National Institute of Mental Health
(NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the
National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of
Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National
Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute on Deafness and
Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Center for
Research Resources (NCRR), the National Library of Medicine
(NLM), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).  In addition, the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will make
available to Human Brain Project research its supercomputer and
other resources of the Biocomputation Center.
The general purpose of this initiative is to encourage and
support investigator-initiated basic and clinical neuroscience
research and investigator-initiated research on informatics
resources which could be used to facilitate neuroscience
research.  Particular emphasis is placed on research on computer
storage and
manipulation of neuroscience information, network systems, and
associated tools which will give neuroscientists access to the
stored information.  The networks will also provide electronic
channels of communication and collaboration to geographically
distant laboratories.  Emphasis will also be placed on
collaborations which result in new experimental technologies or
mathematical paradigms linked to empirical research.  To
optimize the utility of these technologies to neuroscience
researchers, they will be developed in the context of specific
neuroscience research.  It is important to emphasize that the
scientific question being addressed is as important as the
technology being developed.
Neuroscience is a vigorous, multidisciplinary field which has
grown tremendously in the last two decades.  This progress has,
to a large extent, been fueled by information from many
disciplines and across many levels of neural organization.  An
explosion of information at each of these levels, from gene to
behavior, makes it increasingly difficult for individual
neuroscientists to keep up with developments in their own
circumscribed areas of interest.  It is more difficult still for
investigators to relate their findings to an integrated
understanding of the nervous system.  Yet it is precisely such
integration which is necessary for the generation of meaningful
hypotheses and continued rapid scientific progress.
Limitations in the ability of scientists to manage and integrate
information are forcing a return to the fragmented view of
neuroscience which existed 30 years ago.  Fortunately, computer,
information, and telecommunication sciences offer solutions to
this problem.  The Human Brain Project will research these
informatics solutions in the context of neuroscience research
projects.  Human Brain Project research will thus augment the
ability of neuroscientists to integrate and synthesize
information across disciplinary and geographic boundaries.
In 1989, NIMH, NIDA and NSF requested the National Academy
of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM) to establish a Committee
on a National Neural Circuitry Database.  The Committee's
charge was to consider the desirability, feasibility, and
possible ways of implementing a family of resources, both
electronic (e.g., computer networks) and digital (e.g.,
databases), for the
enhancement of neuroscience research.  After deliberations
spanning almost 2 years and involving more than 150 scientific
consultants, the IOM endorsed the concept of mapping the brain
and its functions and issued several specific recommendations.
Among these recommendations is that this initiative should be
implemented in several phases by the research community.  Phase I
will consist of research feasibility studies which researchers
will then refine and extend in Phase II.  The participating
agencies, institutes and center are requesting research grant
applications for Phase I of the Human Brain Project.  This
ongoing program
announcement pertains only to Phase I activities.
Program Description
Phase I of the Human Brain Project will support the research
related to the development, storage, management, analysis,
integration and dissemination of neuroscience information.  This
initiative will incorporate cutting-edge informatics research
with neuroscience research in order to facilitate the integration
of neuroscience information and to promote communication and
collaboration across scientific disciplines and geographic
Consistent with the goal to integrate neuroscience information,
the Human Brain Project research will lead to three-dimensional
computerized maps and models of the structures, functions,
connectivity, physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, and
molecular biology of human, monkey, and rat brains.  Other
mammalian, as well as nonmammalian vertebrate and
invertebrate species, are also appropriate for study.  It is
expected that these maps and models will ultimately:  span
different developmental stages of organisms; reflect both normal
disease states; include numeric, textual, graphic, and image
data; and be available via computer networks.
Broad research objectives appropriate to the Human Brain Project
include, but are not limited to, the following:
o      Storage and manipulation of neuroanatomical,
       neurochemical, neurophysiological, and other data which    
   are portable at the source code, user interface, and platform  
o      Network transmission of neuroscience data at varying
levels        of confidentiality
o      Ways to integrate neuroanatomical data, neurochemical      
 data, neurophysiological data, and behavioral data
o      Approaches which permit access to and integration of       
information related to different areas of neuroscience (e.g.,     
  molecular biology, electrophysiology, and behavior)
o      Visualization of data related to the structure and
function        of the nervous system
o      Approaches for the intelligent navigation through a range
of        types of neuroscience information in heterogeneous
       environments over networks
o      Probabilistic, population-based anatomic atlases of brain  
     images of normal subjects matched for handedness, age, and   
o      Approaches for the analysis of intersubject variability of 
      structural and functional image data for circumscribed      
 subject populations
o      Approaches for compression of neuroimaging data
o      Shared data resources and repositories for neuroscience
data        generated by the Human Brain Project
o      Ways to provide interactions between the Human Brain       
Project neuroscience information and pertinent national       
informational resources, such as those associated with the       
Human Genome Project
o      Approaches for electronic collaboration of neuroscientists
o      Assessment of behavior and ontogenetic brain changes in    
   infants, children, and adolescents, pa

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