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Not the “Usual Suspects”

NIMH director Thomas Insel, M.D., explained that NIH succeeded in recruiting researchers from outside neuroscience in the first wave of grants awarded by the NIH under the BRAIN Initiative. He spoke at a press conference announcing the awards, September 30, 2014.

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Dr. Tom Insel: There’s a very proximal outcome that we’re already very conscious of. And that was, when we set this up, as Cori talked about, the hope was that this was not really going be only for the “usual suspects” in the NIH pipeline. That we’d be reaching out to engineers and computational scientists – and people from very different fields. A lot of people who might be doing nanotechnology for electrode fabrication. People who maybe never really worked in neuroscience. So Story and I were thinking about this from the get-go that one of the most immediate outcomes for us is if we looked at the funding plan and we didn’t recognize a lot of the names, that was good. And, in fact, that’s very much the case. Either we may recognize one member of a team, but often what you have here are people who are not the usual suspects and are coming from other fields, maybe joining up with a neuroscientist. But this is, for us, very exciting as a first accomplishment, first measure of outcome. This is just what we wanted to see.