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BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain

The BrainSpan atlas is a foundational resource for studying transcriptional mechanisms involved in human brain development.

Consortium Members

The BrainSpan atlas was developed by a consortium consisting of the Allen Institute for Brain Science; Yale University (Nenad Sestan, Mark B. Gerstein); the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (James A. Knowles, Pat Levitt); the Athinoula A. Martinos Center at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and MIT HST/CSAIL (Bruce Fischl); the University of California, Los Angeles (Daniel H. Geschwind); and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Hao Huang), with strong collaborative support from the Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program, which is part of the Intramural Research Program of NIMH, NIH (Thomas M. Hyde, Joel E. Kleinman, Daniel R. Weinberger).

Funding Support

This project was supported by Award Numbers RC2MH089921 (PIs: Ed Lein & Michael Hawrylycz, Allen Institute for Brain Science), RC2MH090047 (PI: James A. Knowles, University of Southern California) and RC2MH089929 (PI: Nenad Sestan, Yale University) from the National Institute of Mental Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the respective authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.

Allen Institute for Brain Science website
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Yale University website
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging website
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine: Geschwind Lab website
UT Southwestern Medical Center website
National Institute of Mental Health website National Institutes of Health website
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website Recovery Act website

Data Overview

The BrainSpan atlas includes the following

  • Developmental Transcriptome: RNA sequencing and exon microarray data profiling up to sixteen cortical and subcortical structures across the full course of human brain development.

  • Prenatal LMD Microarray: High-resolution neuroanatomical transcriptional profiles of ~300 distinct structures spanning the entire brain for four midgestional prenatal specimens.

  • ISH: High-resolution in situ hybridization image data covering selected genes and brain regions in developing and adult human brain.

  • Reference Atlas: Full color, high-resolution anatomic reference atlases of prenatal and adult human brain.