President Obama's Brain Initiative Can Unlock The Door to New Hope And Understanding

Published on:

Statement of Stacy Pagos Haller, President and CEO, BrightFocus Foundation

Clarksburg, MD—We applaud President Obama for his announcement today of the BRAIN Initiative, a landmark scientific project to examine the workings of the brain and comprehend its activity. Understanding the human brain may be the human brain’s greatest challenge.

This initiative is both critical and timely.  As an organization that funds research on diseases of mind and sight, we know that examining the human brain is essential not only for neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s but also for vision diseases. The BRAIN project will have enormous benefits to public health for generations to come.

As the President noted, this national investment will pay off “in ways not yet imagined,” and is likely to create jobs “we haven’t even dreamed of yet.”

Outcomes of this massive undertaking are likely to include increasing the amount and power of data exponentially; bringing medical imaging to new levels of resolution; and creating our next generation of computers. Like our nation’s experience with the Human Genome project, discoveries in one area of science will lead to revolutionary discoveries in other areas.

Again, we thank President Obama for recognizing the benefits of basic research and for warning of the potential loss of a new generation of scientists, if we don’t make an investment now in essential biomedical research.

BrightFocus Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting research and public education to help eradicate brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma. For more information, call 1-800-437-2423.


Michael Buckley, Vice President of Public Affairs
BrightFocus Foundation
Phone: (301) 556-9370; Email:

Alice L. Kirkman, Marketing and Communications Manager 
BrightFocus Foundation
Phone: (301) 556-9349; Email: