Two researchers receive grants from NIH BRAIN Initiative

The Stanford grants are part of the $70 million in funding awarded to researchers across the nation with the goal of finding better ways to understand the brain in action.

Vinod Menon

Two School of Medicine researchers are among the recipients of the third round of grants from the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative.

More than 100 new awards, totaling more than $70 million, are being given this year to over 170 investigators working at 60 institutions. These awards expand NIH’s efforts to develop new tools and technologies to understand neural circuit function and capture a dynamic view of the brain in action. The initiative was launched in 2014.

The two Stanford recipients are Vinod Menon, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Kim Butts Pauly, PhD, professor of radiology.

Kim Butts Pauly

Menon received $387,000 from the NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for a project titled “Novel Bayesian linear dynamical systems-based methods for discovering human brain circuit dynamics in health and disease.” He and his colleagues plan to develop novel algorithms for identifying dynamic functional networks in the brain and characterizing network interactions between brain regions involved in cognitive tasks.

Butts Pauly received $393,000 from the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health for a project titled “MR-guided focused ultrasound neuromodulation of deep brain structures.” Through the work, she hopes to develop noninvasive technology that combines focused ultrasound neuromodulation for therapeutic purposes with magnetic resonance imaging to accurately predict ultrasound intensities and temperatures at the target site and throughout the brain.

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