Three UCLA neuroscientists were awarded a nearly $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop imaging technology to study how the brain functions in disease and in health.

The university announced Oct. 31 that Peyman Golshani, Michele Basso and Daniel Aharoni will use the three-year grant to design, manufacture and test a miniature microscope to measure brain activity in non-rodent animals.

The research will allow the recording of neurons to get a handle on how the brain is affected in disease and health. It will also enable higher-resolution imaging and longer wireless recording of brain activity.

“There are nearly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections between those neurons in the brain,” said Basso, leader of the study, and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, in a statement.

“The new techniques to be developed with this award will enable us to image larger regions of the brain, previously inaccessible regions of the brain, and more of the neurons within the brain than current technology allows.”

The grant came as a result of a federal initiative by President Barack Obama to study the brain in order to develop better ways to diagnose and treat neurological and psychiatric disorders from Alzheimer’s disease to depression.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.