Discovering the Brain

The brain is the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe. It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections. The brain boggles the mind.

The diseases that disrupt brain function are among the most painful and destructive we know—Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, and others. They invade the mind, tearing at the fabric of family life and shattering the attributes that make us most human. These diseases are the enemy; neuroscientists are fighters on the front lines. Their weapons are new ideas, tested by experimentation. The revolution in modern biology has supplied science with a formidable armamentarium, well stocked with purchases made using federal dollars.

The health of neuroscience today rests firmly on this foundation of public investment. Since World War II, our nation has consistently supported biomedical research, creating the most robust research enterprise the world has ever seen. That success, evidenced by the prizes and international recognition accorded American scientists, has depended on champions within government.