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NIH Record  
Vol. LXVI, No. 14
  July 4, 2014
Annual Walk/Fun Run Fosters Fitness
Wayward Bear Enchants NIH Campus
Structural Fault Closes Off-Campus Bldg.
NICHD Launches Human Placenta Project
NINR Director Delivers Keynote at Gerontology Conference
NEI, Japanese Institute Begin Collaboration
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‘Ambitious, But Realistic’
Bold 12-Year Vision for ‘BRAIN’ Embraced at ACD

Dr. Cori Bargmann delivers BRAIN initiative report at ACD meeting on June 5.
Dr. Cori Bargmann delivers BRAIN initiative report at ACD meeting on June 5.
Just more than a year after President Obama announced that NIH would undertake an initiative essentially to revolutionize our understanding of the brain, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins received what he called “this bold, multi-year plan about how this dream of understanding how the circuits in the brain actually work might come true.” A working group of the advisory committee to the NIH director (ACD) formally presented “BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision” to the entire ACD at its June 5 meeting. The committee voted unanimously to approve the report.

Collins immediately accepted the vision set forth, saying it would be used to guide NIH’s future investments in the initiative. In total, the plan calls for a sustained commitment of approximately $4.5 billion in new federal spending over 12 years.

“The hope is that this becomes a hub of activity with many spinoffs into disease specific research accelerating the pace of translation by providing this kind of new set of technologies and opportunities,” said Collins, emphasizing that the initiative’s efforts and resources should complement NIH’s $5.5 billion annual investment in basic, translational and clinical neuroscience research. “This should be very synergistic. We would not want this initiative to be off in a corner somewhere. It should be rubbing shoulders with—and exchanging ideas on a daily basis with—the disease-specific efforts.”


Fruit Fly Walks into a Lab
Heberlein Reviews Fly Model in Alcohol Research

Dr. Ulrike Heberlein
Dr. Ulrike Heberlein

Did you hear about the fruit flies that got so drunk they couldn’t climb the walls?

“That’s Drosophila melanogaster,” said Dr. Ulrike Heberlein in her recent Wednesday Afternoon Lecture “Drosophila as a Model for Alcoholism: An Interplay of Nature and Nurture.” Heberlein, who spoke in Masur Auditorium, is scientific director and lab head at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus.

Human studies are difficult and costly, but widely used rodent models have provided important insights into the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol. Why use fruit flies to study alcohol?