On Friday, September 30, the BRAINSCAPES annual meeting was held in Leiden at the CORPUS congress center. Over 50 members participated in the event and well represented the 7 institutes that are involved in the project.
The day was opened by consortium lead Prof. Danielle Posthuma who briefly reviewed the aimed project goals and gave a short summary of where BRAINSCAPES stands after the first 2.5 years of the project. Hereafter, 15 researchers presented a more in-depth overview of the progress made so far by the different work packages. In particular, advances have been made in better understanding cell-type specific behaviour in the different brain regions, as well as their functional connectivity. At the basis of these findings lies the successful integration of different technologies and resources, amongst which genome-wide association studies (GWAS), single cell sequencing, proteomics and MRI scan data, together with the development of powerful integrative analysis algorithms and tools. Next, the knowledge implementation strategy was discussed to define how new (commercial) spin-off activities can be best realized. Finally, the day was concluded with an overall consortium discussion about recent scientific advancements in the field and their possible impact on the project course.
From the meeting, it was evident that the BRAINSCAPES consortium is making good progress and obtaining its first successes in improving the understanding of the biological mechanisms behind different brain orders. To underline the scientific progress made, BRAINSCAPES researchers have already delivered 21 publications, some of which in highly ranked journals such as Nature and Nature Genetics (see also our publication page). Meanwhile, the consortium is spreading its wings and also connecting to other global initiatives, such as the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (https://brainscapes.nl/news/brainscapes-participates-in-major-successful-brain-mapping-initiative/) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Group picture of the BRAINSCAPES consortium day 2022