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Klobuchar, Franken, Ellison, Walz Announce Minnesota Researchers to Receive Over $1.6 Million as Part of the NIH "BRAIN" Initiative

Press Release

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken along with Representatives Keith Ellison and Tim Walz announced that Minnesota researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis will receive over $1.6 million as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) "BRAIN" Initiative. The "BRAIN" Initiative is a national research effort to map the human brain in hopes of finding new ways to prevent and cure brain disorders.

"The "BRAIN' Initiative is a game-changing medical research program that will unlock new treatments for autism, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and other brain conditions," Klobuchar said. "With this new support, Minnesota can continue to be a national leader in medical research and innovation while helping to achieve a new generation of lifesaving medical breakthroughs."

"As a member of the Senate Health Committee, I've worked hard to strengthen investments in research and development through the NIH," Franken said. "Projects like the "BRAIN' initiative lead to discoveries that benefit people across the world, while at the same time creating high-quality jobs here at home. Minnesota's medical institutions, like Mayo and the University of Minnesota, are on the cutting-edge of medical innovation, and I will continue fighting to support their efforts."

"The BRAIN initiative has the potential to revolutionize medicine and save lives," Rep. Ellison said. "From the wounded veteran living with a traumatic brain injury to the high school student suffering from depression, countless Americans can be helped by the research this grant will support."

"These diseases are absolutely devastating, not only to the person afflicted, but to their friends and family as well," Walz said. "This support will ensure scientists and researchers at Mayo have the tools they need to continue their research into preventing, treating, and ultimately curing these terrible disorders."

Klobuchar has recently cosponsored legislation to boost NIH funding over the next five years. The Accelerating Biomedical Research Act would remove budget caps and allow NIH to have the same purchasing power it would have if funding had kept pace with inflation since 2003. Last year Klobuchar toured the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota and joined the director Dr. Kamil Ugurbil who is a member of the "BRAIN" Initiative Working Group for a roundtable discussion focused on the "BRAIN" Initiative.

Since coming to the Senate, Franken has worked hard to keep Minnesota a hub for medical innovation and research. Franken has cosponsored several pieces of legislation to support our nation's medical research efforts, and during last year's budget negotiations, he pressed his Senate colleagues to maintain a strong commitment to funding the NIH.