Photo by mikejuinwind123 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by mikejuinwind123  [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by mikejuinwind123  [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

UC Irvine has won an $8 million grant to establish one of six centers across the country growing a database of brain cell activity, the university announced Wednesday.

The grant from the National Institutes of Health is intended to help further efforts to develop therapies for multiple diseases.

Researchers at UC Irvine will study brain cell activity in disorders such as Lou Gehrig’s disease to create a digital library of information that it is hoped will help lead to treatments.

The NIH is awarding $64 million to six centers nationally.

“Human brain cells are far less understood than other cells in the body,” said Leslie M. Thompson, a UCI professor of psychiatry and human behavior and neurobiology and behavior, who will partner with other experts in the UCI research center.

“The collective expertise of (the UCI-based researchers) provides a unique opportunity to increase our knowledge of what makes brain cells unique and what happens during neurogdegenerative diseases — with a strong focus toward effective treatments. We feel this will have a broad application to a number of human brain diseases.”

City News Service

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