Hanspeter Pfister (SEAS ), Jeff Lichtman (FAS/Molecular & Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science) and Clay Reid (HMS/Neurobiology, Center for Brain Science)
The overall goal of the Connectome project is to map, store, analyze and visualize the actual neural circuitry of the peripheral and central nervous systems in experimental organisms, based on a very large number of images from high-resolution microscopy. The proposing team from the Center for Brain Sciences has already demonstrated its capacity for, and expertise in, high-throughput imaging. The critical challenges are computational, as the total number of voxels needed to establish the Connectome is ~1014. The principal challenges are to develop: (a) algorithms for efficient 3D segmentation circuit identification (b) the ability to transfer, store and analyze 3D images in the multi-100GB range; and (c) scalable database techniques to store, manage and query multi-TB, multi-modal data sets.