Colodner awarded a grant to share brain maps with students

Kenneth Colodner, associate professor and chair of neuroscience and behavior at Mount 51ֿ, is the co-recipient of a collaborative center grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Kenneth Colodner, associate professor and chair of neuroscience and behavior at Mount 51ֿ, is the co-recipient of a collaborative center grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Colodner is part of a team of researchers in the High-throughput Integrated Volumetric Electron Microscopy (HIVE) Center, a $33 million project funded as part of the NIH Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative Connectivity Across Scales (CONNECTS) program. aims to develop novel technologies to map brains at unprecedented scales and levels of detail to revolutionize our understanding of connections between neurons. The , a nonprofit research center in Seattle, Washington, leads HIVE. This national collaborative center includes partners at Princeton University, Argonne National Laboratory, Zetta AI, California State University, East Bay, Appalachian State University and Mount Holyoke.

The grant will fund advances in microscopy, image processing and artificial intelligence with the aim of mapping the connections between the neurons in a mouse brain. An essential part of the project is ensuring that the resulting dataset is accessible to and useful for society. Therefore, the project includes efforts to develop educational programs to train the next generation of scientists in utilizing this data. Colodner will develop a new course next spring focused on , in which he will implement these educational materials.

“The active learning modules that we will create will highlight this extraordinary effort to generate a complete wiring diagram of the brain. It will also allow students to see, firsthand, the real-life, beautiful complexity of neuron structure, in contrast to the cartoonish depictions of neurons in textbooks. Students will be able to interact with and analyze these neurons in specially designed 3D software that will provide a window into the burgeoning world of connectomics and computational neuroscience.”

Colodner will team up with Divya Sitaraman of California State University, East Bay and Andrew Bellemer of Appalachian State University to develop a flexible, modular curriculum, including a series of workshops to train college faculty to make the most of the curriculum in the classroom.

Contact us

The Office of Marketing and Communications spreads the word about Mount 51ֿ’s distinctive strengths and newsworthy accomplishments.

Christian Feuerstein
  • Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations