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Mark Bear receives Inscopix DECODE Award
MIT NEWS OFFICE, Mark Bear receives Inscopix DECODE Award, Nov 19, 2014

The Picower Institute congratulates Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and other awardees selected to receive one of 10 Deciphering Circuit Basis of Disease (DECODE) two-year grants. Given to what National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas Insel called the “best and brightest scientists,” the grants were announced on Nov. 18 at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Bear, awardees included Alex Kwan of Yale University; Amar Sahay of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital; Francesco Battaglia and Nael Nadif Kasri of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University in the Netherlands; Garrett Stuber of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Alexxai Kravitz of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Mario Capecchi of the University of Utah; Michael Bruchas and Robert Gereau of Washington University in St. Louis; Richard Mooney of Duke University; Richard Palmiter of the University of Washington; and Thomas Jessell of Columbia University.

In support of President Obama’s April 2013 launch of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative to revolutionize our understanding of the brain and transform how neurological and psychiatric disorders are treated, cured, and prevented, neuroscience startup Inscopix announced the $1 million DECODE Grant Program in June 2014. Due to an overwhelming response from the neuroscience research community, Inscopix recently doubled its commitment to sponsor this aspirational crowdsourcing model that integrates technology, training, and partnership to encourage scientists to pursue groundbreaking, transformative research and discovery.

Bear and the other nine principal investigator awardees will have access to unique collaborative opportunities and robust, state-of-the-art technologies that will empower them to probe the complex links between dynamic neural circuit activity patterns, functions, and behaviors, and the characteristics of a diverse range of brain diseases. Their collective research is expected to accelerate the pace of fundamental advances in therapeutic treatments for many of the most debilitating brain-related disorders, currently contributing an estimated $2.5 trillion to global healthcare costs.