Prof Chris Ponting of the MRC Functional Genomics Unit is leading Oxford’s contribution to the ambitious ‘Human Brain Project.’ This study is one of two flagship projects to receive half-a-billion euros in funding from the European Commission. The project aims to secure over a billion euros in funding over ten years.
The overall project aims to use computer simulation to provide an integrated model for understanding the brain at its different levels of organisation, from the genetic and cellular level up to cognition and behaviour, and how these interact. Data will be collected and consolidated from scientists from across the world. Currently there are over 150 principal investigators and 70 institutions in 22 countries involved in the project consortium.
Prof Ponting’s contribution will be to understand the functional differences between mouse brain cells from sequencing the transcriptomes of single cells and cell types.