2014 Year In Review
December 24, 2014
Between cover articles in Nature, major grant awards, dynamic community engagement and important strides toward understanding the brain, 2014 has been a banner year for the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
Here are some of our biggest accomplishments of the last year.
- One of our beautiful connectivity images was featured on the cover of the April 2nd issue of Nature, and inside were two landmark platform papers presenting the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas and the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain.
- Scientists at the Allen Institute published 82 scientific papers in 2014 alone, in journals like Science, Neuron, Cell, Nature and many more.
Novel technologies and new projects
- The NIH awarded the Allen Institute a Transformative Research Award of $8.7 million over five years to study synapse diversity.
- The Allen Institute was awarded a $4.75 million, three-year BRAIN Initiative grant to create a prototype database of cell types in the mouse brain, in a critical step toward understanding many brain diseases and disorders.
Engaging the field
- We surpassed five million cumulative visits to the Allen Brain Atlas resources, with visitors from six continents and over a hundred countries.
- The Allen Institute hosted its first annual Showcase, a two-day symposium focusing on innovative approaches to big science. The event featured presentations from the Next Generation Leadership Council, a program where esteemed young scientists from peer institutions around the world are invited to speak and provide feedback in both formal and informal settings to young scientists at the Allen Institute. See presentations, virtual video tours, lightning talks and select team talks on our YouTube playlist.
- The Neurodata Without Borders collaboration was launched, with the aim of creating a standardized data format for neurophysiology data: a fundamental step to accelerating the pace of discoveries about the brain in health and disease.
- The Allen Institute and UW co-hosted an intensive two-week interdisciplinary Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain at Friday Harbor Labs.
Making strides toward disease
- Autism. Our researchers collaborated with scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine on a study that gives clear and direct new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy, using data from the BrainSpan Atlas. The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Alzheimers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the Allen Institute a $3.4 million grant to study the effect of Alzheimer’s disease on brain-wide connections.
Scientists joining the Institute
- The Allen Institute welcomed renowned neuroscientist Stephen Smith and innovative engineer Peter Saggau to lead new endeavors, and hosted Sharad Ramanathan and Craig Forest as visiting scientists.
A new home for the Institute
- The year started out with a giant hole in the ground, and as of the end of 2014, our new building is standing six stories above Lake Union. It is scheduled for occupancy in fall 2015.
With such a colorful and exciting year behind us, we are more ready than ever to look forward to what we can achieve in 2015 and beyond.