UCI News

UCI part of international effort to create 'atlas' of the human brain

A team led by Marquis Vawter participated in a study showing that human brains share a consistent genetic blueprint and possess enormous biochemical complexity.

September 19, 2012

A group of UCI scientists led by Marquis Vawter (pictured) participated in an international study showing that human brains share a consistent genetic blueprint and possess enormous biochemical complexity. The research reveals that – despite the myriad personalities and cognitive talents seen across the human
population – our brains are more similar than different. The findings stem from the first deep and large-scale analysis of the vast data set publicly available in the Allen Human Brain Atlas, created by scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Study results appear in the Sept. 20 issue of the journal Nature. The UCI team was involved in the development of protocols for procurement, imaging, quality control, toxicological testing, and dissection of postmortem human brains. “This was an exciting and rewarding project and a great collaboration with the Allen Institute that led to the development of innovative procedures for imaging, dissection and timely processing of high-quality postmortem human brains to be used to build the first-ever map of the
human brain transcriptome,” said Vawter, research associate professor of psychiatry & human behavior at UCI.