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Proposed federal funding could boost U of M brain research


Researchers at the University of Michigan are closely watching President Obama’s call for a big increase in federal funding for brain research. 

President Obama is proposing a 100 million dollar increase in federal funding for brain research.   

U of M has many different researchers studying the human brain.    From Alzheimer’s disease to Depression, neuroscientists on the Ann Arbor campus are approaching the brain from a wide variety of specialties.

Hank Paulson is the director of U of M’s Alzheimer’s disease center.   He says the new research may be able to answer questions about how neurons in the brain connect with one another.

“We know some of those connections.  But we don’t know all of those connections by any stretch,” says Paulson,  “I think this task of mapping the brain…is a more complicated task than mapping the human genome.”

Paulson compares the potential of the Brain Initiative to that of the Human Genome project which mapped the human genetic code. That research is leading to new medical treatments for serious diseases.

Paulson believes U of M’s history of leading neuroscience research puts it in a strong position to receive a large part of the president’s proposed Brain Initiative research funding.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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