Neuroscience Research Resources

NICHD-Sponsored Resources

Through its various Divisions, Centers, and Branches, the NICHD supports and maintains a number of valuable research projects and networks that are useful to neuroscientists and researchers. Some of these resources include:

  • Cincinnati Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Neurodevelopment (C-Mind) Project 
    This project aims to create standardized methods for recruiting, scanning, and processing data using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) coupled with arterial spin labeling perfusion and to investigate language development and attention brain processes of typically developing children using task fMRI. Software, manuals, raw and processed data will be available to the scientific community. The C-Mind Project is led by the Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, in collaboration with the laboratory of Neuroimaging at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Data and Specimen Hub (DASH)
    This centralized resource allows researchers to store and access de-identified data from NICHD-funded research studies for secondary research use.
  • DS Connect®: The Down Syndrome Registry
    This patient registry is a secure, Web-based national resource for storing and sharing demographic and health information about individuals with Down syndrome. The Registry will help identify those people with Down syndrome who might be eligible to take part in research studies or clinical trials and connect them with the researchers leading those studies.
  • Echinoderm Genome Database (EchinoBase) 
    EchinoBase is designed to present the results of the genome sequencing project for the purple sea urchin. The sequences and annotations emerging from this effort are organized in a database that provides the research community access to those data not normally presented through National Center for Biotechnology Information and other large databases.
  • Gallus Expression in Situ Hybridization Analysis (GEISHA) 
    GEISHA is an online repository for chicken in situ hybridization information. This site presents whole mount in situ hybridization images and corresponding probe and genomic information for genes expressed in chicken embryos in Hamburger Hamilton stages 1-25 (0.5-5 days).
  • Gene Expression Database (GXD) 
    GXD collects and integrates the gene expression information in the Mouse Genome Informatics database.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs) 
    This program provides core infrastructure and research support for investigators with independently funded projects to understand the causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their prevention, management, and treatment through biomedical and behavioral approaches. There are currently 15 IDDRCs at universities and children's hospitals throughout the country.
  • Jackson Laboratories Cytogenetic Models Resource  
    This resource maintains and distributes chromosome aberration stocks, which provide primarily mouse models for Down syndrome research.
  • Medical Rehabilitation Research Infrastructure Network 
    The MRRRN, funded through the NICHD's National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) with additional support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, builds research infrastructure in medical rehabilitation by providing investigators with access to expertise, courses and workshops, technologies, and other collaborative opportunities from allied disciplines such as neuroscience, engineering, applied behavior, and the social sciences.
  • Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (NBSTRN) 
    The mission of the NBSTRN is to improve the health outcomes of newborns with genetic or congenital disorders by means of an infrastructure that allows investigators access to robust resources for newborn screening research.
  • Pediatric Brain Templates 
    The Imaging Research Center at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has collected brain imaging data from a large population of normal, healthy children. These data have been used to construct pediatric brain templates, which can be used within statistical parametric mapping for spatial normalization, tissue segmentation and visualization of imaging study results. The data has been processed and compiled in various ways to accommodate a wide range of possible research approaches. The templates are made available free of charge to all interested parties for research purposes only.
  • University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank 
    This human tissue repository, located at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, provides resources to investigators who seek to advance research on developmental disorders. This tissue repository systematically collects, stores, and distributes brain and other tissues for research dedicated to the improved understanding, care, and treatment of individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders. It is a repository of the NIH NeuorBioBank.
  • Xenbase: Xenopus Biology and Genomics Resource  
    Xenbase is an online resource for information about Xenopus biology, genomics, and the research community using this model organism.


Trans-NIH Sponsored Resources

In addition, to resources primarily supported by NICHD, the NICHD contributes to other NIH resources related to the neurosciences. These include:

  • Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) 
    The Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) is a geographically distributed virtual community of shared resources offering tremendous potential to advance the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
  • Bioengineering and Information Science Technology Initiative (BISTI)
    The focus of biomedical computing activities at the NIH is the BISTI Consortium (BISTIC), which consists of senior-level representatives from each NIH Institute and Center, plus representatives from other federal agencies concerned with biocomputing. The BISTI site includes information about BISTI symposia and funding opportunities in bioinformatics.
  • Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative
    The BRAIN Initiative is part of a Presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space.
  • Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR) 
    CIDR provides high-quality next-generation sequencing and genotyping services, as well as statistical genetics consultation, to investigators working to discover genes that contribute to common disease.
  • Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA)
    The CTSA program creates a definable academic home for clinical and translational research. CTSA institutions work to transform the local, regional, and national environment to increase the efficiency and speed of clinical and translational research across the country.
  • International HapMap Project
    The elucidation of the entire human genome has made possible this current effort to develop a haplotype map of the human genome. The haplotype map, or "HapMap," will be a tool that will allow researchers to find genes and genetic variations that affect health and disease.
  • Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Program (KOMP2)
    KOMP2 provides broad, standardized phenotyping of a genome-wide collection of mouse knockouts generated by the International Knockout Mouse Consortium, funded by the NIH, the European Union, the Wellcome Trust, Canada, and the Texas Enterprise Fund.
  • Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC)
    The MGC provides full-length, open reading frame clones for human and mouse genes, which are available for distribution to the scientific community.
  • Model Organisms for Biomedical Research
    This Web site provides information about national and international activities and major resources that are being developed to facilitate biomedical research using animal models, such as Drosophila, zebrafish, Xenopus, mouse, and rat.
  • MRI Study of Normal Brain Development 
    This multi-site longitudinal study uses technologies (e.g., anatomical MRI, diffusion-tensor imaging [DTI], and magnetic resonance spectroscopy [MRS]) to map pediatric brain development. More than 500 children, ranging from infancy to young adulthood were enrolled in the study. Clinical/behavioral assessment data and raw and volumetric brain MR data are available for download to researchers.
  • National Database for Autism Research (NDAR)
    NDAR is an informatics platform for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and includes relevant data at all levels of biological and behavioral organization (i.e., molecules, genes, neural tissues, social and environmental interactions) and for all data types (i.e., text, numeric, image, time series, etc.). NDAR was developed to share data across the entire ASD field and to facilitate collaboration across laboratories and interconnectivity with other platforms.
  • National Xenopus Resource Center 
    The recently established National Xenopus Resource Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, serves as a stock center for Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis by maintaining genetic stocks, providing stocks to researchers, developing new experimental tools and husbandry techniques, and meeting other needs of the Xenopus research community. The Center also serves as a training center for advanced technologies (e.g., husbandry, cell biology, imaging, genetics, transgenesis, genomics, etc.).
  • NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research
    The Blueprint is a framework to enhance cooperative activities among 15 NIH Institutes and Centers that support research on the nervous system. By pooling resources and expertise, the Blueprint can take advantage of economies of scale, confront challenges too large for any single Institute or Center, and develop research tools and infrastructure that will serve the entire neuroscience community.
  • Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN)
    The RCDRN, composed of 19 distinct consortia, was established to stimulate natural history studies and the development of clinical interventions for rare disorders, many of which impact the nervous system. The consortia partner with patient and family groups and with industry to encourage quick translation of research results.
  • Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND)
    The NIH TRND program is a congressionally mandated program designed to bridge the gap that often exists between basic research discoveries and testing of new drugs in humans. The work of the TRND includes the discovery, optimization, and preclinical testing of therapies, with the ultimate goal of generating enough sufficient-quality data to support successful investigational new drug applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and first-in-human studies (if necessary). The program aims to encourage biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to take the therapeutic clinical candidates that reach this stage into clinical development.
  • Trans-NIH Structural Birth Defects Working Group (SBDWG)
    The Trans-NIH SBDWG comprises extramural program officials from NIH components whose missions include research into structural birth defects, with the ultimate goal of facilitating advances in our understanding of the etiology, mechanisms, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of structural birth defects.
  • Xenopus Gene Collection (XGC)
    The XGC supported the production of cDNA libraries, clones, and sequences to provide a set of full-length, open reading frame sequences and cDNA clones of expressed genes for Xenopus. All resources are publicly available for the biomedical scientific community.
  • Zebrafish Gene Collection (ZGC)
    The ZGC supported the production of cDNA libraries, clones, and sequences to provide a set of full-length, open reading frame sequences and cDNA clones of expressed genes for zebrafish. All resources are publicly available for the biomedical scientific community.
  • Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC) 
    One-stop resource for zebrafish wild-type and mutant strains, ESTs/cDNAs, and monoclonal antibodies. ZIRC is also a resource for animal husbandry and diagnostic pathology testing for zebrafish and medaka.


Other Resources

Neuroscience researchers and other scientists may find the following informational resources helpful.

  • NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool Expenditures and Reports (RePORTER)
    Like its predecessor CRISP, RePORTER is a database of funded projects that allows users to locate and view NIH awards using their own search criteria. RePORTER, provides detailed budget information, research results, and products, including patents and publications. Data from 1985 through to the present are available and searchable.
  • NIH Common Fund
    Developed with input from meetings with more than 300 nationally recognized leaders in academia, industry, government, and the public, the NIH Common Fund provides a framework of the priorities NIH as a whole must address in order to optimize its entire research portfolio. The NIH Common Fund identifies the most compelling opportunities in three main areas: new pathways to discovery, research teams of the future, and re-engineering the clinical research enterprise.
  • PhysioNet 
    PhysioNet offers free web access to large collections of recorded physiologic signals (PhysioBank  ) and related open-source software (PhysioToolkit  ). The goal of the site is to promote, catalyze and perform basic-to-bedside research in complex biomedical systems by: making physiologic and clinical data available in open Internet-accessible archives; developing innovative open-source software for the exploration and analysis of physiologic data; and creating a multidisciplinary "laboratory without walls" to facilitate the discovery of basic and translational information in complex physiologic signals. By freely disseminating large and well-characterized collections of data and related software, the project aims to reduce barriers for researchers and students whose work requires these essential materials.
  • Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC)
    SPARC, a project of the NIH Common Fund, is a community resource that provides public and private research communities with the scientific foundation necessary to advance neuromodulation therapies in pursuit of precise neural control of end-organ system function to treat diseases and conditions.


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