As you all know, understanding brain structures, function, networks and behaviors is one of sciences last and most daunting challenges. Since the brain has the order of one hundred billion cells, all of which are highly organized into structure and inter-connected for efficient communication, it is extremely difficult and tedious to determine the relationship between structure and function and to investigate the neural circuits of behaviors and underlying physiology in humans and animals. To accelerate the progress of brain research, the CNIR relies on high-tech neuroimaging tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, multi-photon microscope, and electrode arrays to investigate the entire brain or large brain area.
The CNIR consists of multiple inter-related research groups for the integration of experimental approaches from a diversity of disciplines; i) the Physics, Chemistry and Engineering group, which will develop novel methods and materials for brain research, ii) the Computation and Data Analysis group, which will determine signal processing and computation approaches to handle large amount of brain data, and iii) the Neurobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience groups, which will investigate behaviors and diseases in normal and dysfunctional rodents, monkeys and humans.
The CNIR will be housed in a new, approximately 3,000 square meter, three-story building in early 2015. It will have core facilities including animal and human MRI, two-photon microscope, super high-resolution confocal microscope, computer clusters, electronic and machine shop, histology lab, and rodent and non-human primate animal housing. The major emphasis is to create an open research environment and to encourage synergetic, multi-modal, multi-disciplinary, creative neuroscience research. The CNIR is interested in collaborative research with investigators around the world.