Launched today, the Helmholtz International BigBrain Analytics Learning Laboratory (HIBALL) will work to create 3D brain models at an unprecedented cellular-level resolution. Co-led by Katrin Amunts, from Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) in Germany and Alan Evans from The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) and McGill University in Canada, the project builds on more than two decades of collaborations between the Amunts and Evans labs. HIBALL is jointly funded for five years by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (€3,000,000 Euro) and McGill University ($4,500,000 CAD). Of McGill University’s funding, HBHL has contributed $3,375,000 CAD through the International Partnerships Program.
Using the latest artificial intelligence and high-performance computing technologies, HIBALL will build on previous work done by Amunts and Evans on the BigBrain dataset, currently the highest-resolution 3D model of the human brain.
“We will be building the equivalent of Google Earth for the brain and exploring how artificial intelligence can model the functional organization of the brain at an unmatched 3D spatial scale,” Evans explains. “Quite apart from the scientific insights we can expect, HIBALL involves brilliant young faculty and trainees who have come to McGill through HBHL. We are eager to get going on this innovative project with our long-term partners at Jülich."