A West Virginia University researcher believes increased funding from the National Institutes of Health shows NIH’s commitment to exciting advancements in neuroscience research, a field that ranges from neurological disorders like dementia to mental health disorders like PTSD.

“At WVU we are working on a wearable brain imager that is very unique and with enormous potential, as part of our current BRAIN initiative planning grant,” said Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, Ph.D. of the WVU School of Medicine. “This announcement makes us hopeful to continue with our truly multi-disciplinary project, which involves developments in radiology, engineering, psychology, and neuroscience.”

NIH today (Oct. 13) announced that it will double its investment in the BRAIN Initiative in 2016, funding $150 million in research at 60 universities across the U.S.

In the release, NIH highlighted the success of the research already under way at WVU. Brefczynski-Lewis is leading the wearable brain imager project. The helmet allows doctors to watch the activity of a person’s brain during a more natural state, such as walking through a park.

NIH awarded her a $1.5 million research grant when the program was announced in 2014.

With the additional funding, Brefczynski-Lewis hopes to develop a more sophisticated imager. “We want a model that allows a moving subject so we can better study stroke recovery and movement disorders, as well as other mental and neurological health mechanisms,” said Brefczynski-Lewis.

The research involves a WVU-wide team, as well as outside collaborations with industrial partners like GE and other academic institutions.

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CONTACT: Bill Case, WVU University Relations – Health Sciences
304.293.8045, bill.case@hsc.wvu.edu

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