Utilizing wireless brain recording technologies, statistical tools employed by artificial intelligence research, and powerful circuit dissection approaches, Tye’s laboratory seeks to identify the neural circuits that represent social interactions in mice.
“Systems neuroscience has exploded with a number of novel technologies, but virtually nothing is known about the neural circuit mechanisms that govern the remarkable coordination of large groups of animals and their social dynamics” says Tye. “ Indeed, this unexplored face of social behavior may have greater relevance to mental health and the burden on society.
“I continually point to this program as an example of the creative and revolutionary research NIH supports,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “The quality of the investigators and the impact their research has on the biomedical field is extraordinary.”
The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, established in 2004, supports exceptionally creative scientists proposing to use highly innovative approaches to tackle major challenges in biomedical research. The program supports high-risk ideas with high-impact potential.
For 2017, NIH issued 12 Pioneer awards, 55 New Innovator awards, 8 Transformative Research awards, and 11 Early Independence awards. The 2017 awards total approximately $263 million, pending available funds, and represent contributions from the NIH Common Fund; National Institute of General Medical Sciences; National Institute of Mental Health; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health; and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.