An Indian neuroscientist in the US has been awarded a prestigious grant under President Barack Obama's initiative to map the human brain.
The grant will help him to develop a "virtual neuroanatomist", an artificial-intelligence system that can identify cell types and neural structures in microscopic images of brain slices.
The two researchers at the National Science Foundation, Partha Mitra and Florin Albeanu, have been awarded Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) under President Barack Obama's multi-year Brain Initiative, a statement released by the laboratory said.
The award provides USD 300,000 over two years for the development of innovative conceptual and physical tools to advance neuroscience. The awards are intended to fund short-term, proof-of-concept projects with the prospect of high-payoffs.
Mitra is working to develop an integrative picture of brain function, incorporating theory and experimental work, it said.
He is also the founder of the Mouse Brain Architecture Project, an experimental effort to develop a brain-wide connectivity map of the mouse brain, the statement said.
Mitra's work extends to the interface of physics, engineering, and biology, where he is developing theories that will allow researchers to extract meaningful information about neural circuit function.
"Florin Albeanu and Partha Mitra are working at the edge of the technology limit in neuroscience, and are actively expanding the limits of what we can do to understand the ultimate mysteries of the mammalian brain's structure and operations," said CSHL President and CEO Dr Bruce Stillman.
"On behalf of the faculty I congratulate them on winning EAGER awards, through which the National Science Foundation (NSF) enables them to continue to innovate," Stillman said.