On May 25, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden joined astronaut Buzz Aldrin and many prominent neuroscientists at the President John F. Kennedy Library & Museum in Boston to support brain research. While citing the need for new innovative research on the brain and its disorders, Biden specifically mentioned the Human Connectome Project:
“We’re supporting the Human Connectome Project – dedicated to discovering the ‘wiring diagram’ for the human brain. The Human Connectome Project will lead to major advances in our understanding of how our brain circuitry changes as we age and how it differs in people with neurological or psychiatric illnesses.”
Timed to honor the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s “Moon Shot” Speech, the event also marked the launch of former Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s “One Mind for Research” campaign–an ambitious initiative to increase funding and unify research efforts on the brain. http://www.moonshot.org/
HCP investigator Marc Raichle was a speaker at the One Mind for Research Forum (http://www.1mind4research.org/), and HCP Principal Investigator David Van Essen served on the Scientific Planning Committee. Their contributions help to frame a “Ten-year Plan for Neuroscience: From Molecules to Brain Health”, aimed at strengthening fundamental and disease-oriented neuroscience so as to dramatically improve our ability to understand, diagnose, and treat many debilitating neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. This plan recognizes the growing importance of connectomics (both macro- and micro-connectomes) in accelerating progress towards these goals.