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February 8, 2007
Janelia Farm Targets Two Tough Neurotech Problems
What began as an idea sketched out on the back of a napkin has led—after six years of intense planning, construction, and recruiting—to the opening of the Janelia Farm Research Campus, a new scientific community created by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Janelia Farm's overall objective is to pursue fundamental problems in basic biomedical research that are difficult to approach in academia or industry, because they require expertise from disparate areas; they are too long-term for standard funding mechanisms; or they are outside the current priorities of other funding agencies.
After holding a series of workshops and consulting with the Advisory Committee, HHMI tightened its focus to two synergistic areas that are particularly well matched to the Janelia Farm environment, both related to neurotech:
1) The identification of general principles that govern how information is processed by neuronal circuits
2) The development of imaging technologies and computational methods for image analysis
Both of these projects are areas of great need and will help increase our understanding of how the human brain functions and malfunctions, leading to new neurotherapeutics for brain-related illnesses. While the team is just getting underway, you can expect great progress in next decade coming from here.
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