National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health & The BRAIN Initiative

The NIH component of the BRAIN Initiative is guided by its long-term scientific plan, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, which includes seven high-priority research areas.

Scientific areas include discovering the diversity of brain cell types to determine their roles in health and disease, creating maps at multiple scales from synapses to the whole brain, imaging the brain in action, linking brain activity to behavior, developing theoretical and data analysis tools, and advancing human neuroscience with innovative stimulating and recording technologies. Finally, it will be important to integrate technological and conceptual approaches to understand brain function in both health and disease.

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About The NIH

NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

The goals of the agency are:

  • to foster fundamental creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications as a basis for ultimately protecting and improving health;
  • to develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical resources that will ensure the Nation’s capability to prevent disease;
  • to expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation’s economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research; and
  • to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.

In realizing these goals, the NIH provides leadership and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation by conducting and supporting research:

  • in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and cure of human diseases;
  • in the processes of human growth and development;
  • in the biological effects of environmental contaminants;
  • in the understanding of mental, addictive and physical disorders; and
  • in directing programs for the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information in medicine and health, including the development and support of medical libraries and the training of medical librarians and other health information specialists.

NIH's Awards

Currently, the NIH supports over 230 projects from cross-disciplinary researchers tackling the goals of the Initiative. Click here to read brief descriptions of our BRAIN awards.