Fattah Joins Science Community and Obama Administration in Announcement on Neuroscience Research

Apr 02, 2013, 11:11 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), the Congressional champion for brain science research today joined President Obama at the White House when he revealed a new initiative to transform and improve our understanding of the human brain.

Included in the President's 2014 budget is $100 million for the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative.  According to the White House, the multi- million dollar investments will allow researchers to discover new ways to treat, cure and even prevent brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.

Fattah is the leading Democratic Appropriator and advocate for neuroscience and has been leading the fight in Congress to increase federal funding for brain research.  He is the author of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative which is designed to make significant strides in the understanding of the human brain.  Fattah's initiative has previously led to the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience (IWGN), housed at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  The IWGN brings together agencies across the Federal government to better coordinate existing research and chart a course forward.

Foreshadowing today's announcement, Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, said in his February 2012 testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies that, "we have taken very seriously [Ranking Member Fattah's] recommendation of some time ago to see what we can do to structure an initiative in neuroscience around three themes that you I think correctly identified."

Fattah said, "Our shared vision of transformative, game-changing research in brain development, cognition, disease and injury will stimulate significant economic activity while dramatically improving the quality of life for millions of Americans.  Each of us knows someone, or is someone, whose life is touched by Alzheimer's, stroke, mental illness, disability or brain injury.  This research will create jobs, grow scientific understanding and save lives.  I am honored to partner with the President in this important work."   

The White House expects the BRAIN Initiative to accelerate the development and application of new technologies to enable researchers the ability to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show exactly how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought.  These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah