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  • Industry Group Pledges $30M for Neuroimaging Research

Photonics.com
Sep 2014
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2014 — Industry leaders plan to invest upwards of $30 million for photonics research and development in support of a White House neuroscience initiative.

The National Photonics Initiative on Tuesday launched its Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group. The industry consortium includes representatives of Accumetra LLC, Agilent, Applied Scientific Instrumentation, Coherent, Hamamatsu, Inscopix Inc., Spectra-Physics and Thorlabs.

The group’s objectives include:

• Developing imaging optics, laser sources, automated scanning technology and high-resolution cameras to provide up to a 100-fold increase in the capability for imaging groups of thousands of active neurons.

• Developing miniature, affordable, portable and implantable microscopes compatible with high-throughput facilities for therapeutic screening based on neural activity signatures.

• Using large-scale, high-throughput protein engineering technology to develop a new generation of fluorescent indicators of neural activity with tenfold improvements in efficiency and temporal response.

• Developing automated software for detailed mapping of the human brain’s architecture, neuronal wiring geometry and dynamic activity from 3-D data sets generated by microscopic imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT).

Launched in April 2013, the BRAIN Initiative seeks technologies that can create a dynamic understanding of brain function and help researchers find new ways to treat, cure and even prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.

The National Photonics Initiative is a collaborative alliance of industry, academia and government to raise awareness about photonics, advance technologies and enhance funding and investment. It is led by the American Physical Society, the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America, The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

For more information, visit www.lightourfuture.org.

For information on BRAIN Initiative projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, click here.


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