Brain Initiative grants Chen $2.7 million for neuroscience study

An interdisciplinary team of WashU researchers will be developing a non-invasive neuromodulation tool

Brandie Jefferson 
Hong Chen
Hong Chen

Hong Chen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and radiation oncology in the School of Medicine, has received a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's Brain Initiative to develop a non-invasive neuromodulation tool that works on the cellular level and uses focused ultrasound, operating with high spatiotemporal precision. Chen is working across disciplines, with Jianmin Cui, professor in biomedical engineering; Joseph Culver, professor of radiology, physics, and biomedical engineering at the School of Medicine; and former WashU faculty member Michael Bruchas, PhD.

Functional Optical Imaging Feedback-Controlled Cellular-Level Ultrasound Stimulation (FOCUS), will help researchers better understand the general underpinnings of neuroscience, but the group has also envisioned a pathway for clinical use. The project is part of the NIH's BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, federally-funded research aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.


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