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BRAIN Initiative: Data Archives for BRAIN Initiative


Greg Farber, Ph.D.
Office of Technology Development and Coordination


The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Working Group Report to the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, as well as the more recent mid-course evaluation, The BRAIN Initiative 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures, call for NIH to create a data infrastructure for BRAIN Initiative data. This concept calls for a renewal of the data archive component of that infrastructure. As was previously true, the data archives awardee will work with the research community to incorporate tools that allow users to analyze and visualize the data.


The BRAIN Initiative data infrastructure has been supported by three components: data archives (RFA-MH-19-145), data standards (RFA-MH-19-146), and software for data integration and analysis (RFA-MH-19-147). Each of those Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) was focused on creating infrastructure to serve individual data collection modalities. Seven BRAIN data archives have been funded:

  1. Neuroscience Multi-Omic Data Archive (NeMO, R24MH114788 ) for multi-omics data
  2. Brain Imaging Library (BIL, R24MH114793 ) for confocal microscopy brain imaging data
  3. Data Archive for the BRAIN Initiative (DABI, R24MH114796 ) for invasive human neurophysiology data
  4. OpenNeuro (R24MH117179 ) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other neuroimaging data
  5. bossDB (Block and Object Storage Service Database, R24MH114785 ) for electron microscopy and x-ray microtomography data
  6. DANDI (Distributed Archives for Neurophysiology Data Integration, R24MH117295 ) for cellular neurophysiology data
  7. NEMAR (Neuroelectromagnetic Data Archive and Tools Resource, R24MH120037 ) for electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) data.

These data archives provide a basis for implementing the data sharing policy for the BRAIN Initiative (NOT-MH-19-010 ) and are a key component of the BRAIN Initiative FOA Secondary Analysis and Archiving of BRAIN Initiative Data (RFA-MH-20-120 ).