BMAP Resources
Courses and Meetings
Reports and PublicationsFunding OpportunitiesMajor contacts  


1. Brain Molecular Anatomy Project (BMAP) Planning Workshop

March 30-31, 1998
Doubletree Hotel
Rockville, Maryland

Organizers: Judy Small, Ph.D. and Steven Moldin, Ph.D.
Co-Chairs: Greg Lemke, Ph.D. and Stanley Watson, Ph.D., M.D.


NINDS and NIMH sponsored this workshop to help develop a blueprint for the Brain Molecular Anatomy Project (BMAP).  The workshop was organized by an NIH committee chaired by Drs. Small and Moldin. 

The following were established as important directions for future research:

  • Better characterize existing cDNA libraries with significant representation of genes from the nervous system. This will include further sequencing of existing EST clones to cover 5’ and 3’ ends. Deeper sequencing into higher quality libraries may result in further gene discovery.
  • Localize genes to specific regions or cell types of the nervous system. Conduct low resolution mapping by hybridizing region-specific libraries with microarray technologies. High resolution mapping will follow the development of high sensitivity, region- or cell-specific fluorescent multiprobe in situ hybridization technologies, along with other single cell approaches.
  • Construct normalized full-length cDNA libraries for specific brain regions or cell types in the nervous system. Use of full-length clones will facilitate gene discovery and can be used for gene expression and functional studies.
  • Large-scale gene expression analysis in specific brain regions or cell types is beyond current technologies, and new tools and technologies are required (e.g., new methods to micro-dissect specific brain regions, bioinformatics tools for retrieving data, 3D digital mouse brain atlas).
  • Create public repositories for the wide distribution of data and biomaterials.
  • Focus initial efforts to develop as a blueprint the molecular anatomy of the mouse brain. Develop strategies to extend this work and study human neural tissue under various conditions (e.g., different disease states, exposure to pharmacologic agents, developmental alterations).

2.  Mouse Atlas Workshop

July 14th, 1998
Embassy Suites Hotel, Chevy Chase, Marylad.

The goal of this workshop was to obtain a better conceptualization of how NIH should proceed to initiate a database that will be most useful to neuroscientists who are interested in the brain patterns of gene expression. The Mouse Atlas Workshop participants addressed  the issues involved in constructing a mouse brain atlas and the development of a database for the BMAP project. 

The workshop recommendations are as follows:

1) The datasets should be volume-based and derived from high-resolution video imaged sectioning and staining of brain material, perhaps preceded by whole brain MRI.

2) Datasets from many individuals of different mouse strains should be used in constructing the atlas. The initial resolution of data should aim for the 10 micron range.

3) The anatomical nomenclature should cite current systems, but have the capability to incorporate new consensus terms and information about brain structure arising from the project.  Stereotaxic and surface-based coordinates should be an integral part of the atlas.

4) Attention should be given to providing training in brain mapping, neuroanatomy and in situ studies.

5) Creating datasets for cataloging gene expression data during development should be given a high priority.

6) The atlas/database should be web-based, interactive, and capable of graphic three-dimensional output.  Information should include anatomic and cellular structure and function, gene expression patterns, connectivity, temporal information, and relevant Internet links.  The database should have the capacity to incorporate new types of information and queries arising in the future.

7) Neuroscience experts and information science experts should be closely associated during the development of the atlas/database.

The participants are:

  • Richard A. Baldock, Ph.D., Western General Hospital Edinburgh
  • Floyd E. Bloom, M.D. ,The Scripps Research Institute
  • Nick R. Bryan, M.D., Ph.D., NIH
  • Mark H. Ellisman, Ph.D. ,UCSD School of Medicine
  • John G. Flanagan, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
  • Richard A. Baldock, Ph.D.
  • Karl Herrup, Ph.D. ,Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
  • Russel E. Jacobs, Ph.D. ,California Institute of Technology
  • Christiana M. Leonard, Ph.D., University of Florida Hlth. Sci. Center
  • Randall R. Reed, Ph.D., HHMI, Johns Hopkins University
  • Richard L. Sidman, M.D. New England Regional Primate Res. Ctr.
  • Larry W. Swanson, Ph.D.University of Southern California
  • Arthur W. Toga, Ph.D., UCLA
  • David C. Van Essen, Ph.D., Washington Univ. School. Of Medicine
  • Thomas A. Woolsey, M.D., Washington Univ. School. Of Medicine
  • Warren G. Young, Ph.D.,Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation

3.  Databases for a Molecular Anatomy Brain Atlas

August 28 - 29, 2000
Conference Room D, Natcher Center
NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

The purpose of this meeting was to bring together a small group of participants with a blend of scientific and technical expertise to begin to consider issues regarding the development of a database for gene expression data. Specifically, the focus was on a database that could articulate with the mouse digital brain atlas currently supported under the auspices of the Brain Molecular Anatomy Project (BMAP). This one and one-half day meeting started with brief presentations, but mostly comprised discussions directed at the use, capabilities, and construction of databases for gene expression in the brain. 

This blend of knowledge allowed discussions to address issues that included: query construction approaches, data models and representations, database schema and architecture, central versus distributed approaches, quality control, types of data and queries that would most benefit the gene expression research community, data-handling capabilities needed by that community now and five years hence, and the nature of and comparison among the scientific cultures of a variety of research communities as they relate to the use of databases. 

The meeting produced several important insights that would be useful in steering and constraining the path of database development. If development of a gene expression database is to be pursued, then additional workshops and like activities should be held.

Detailed description of the workshop can be found at:

4.  GENSAT Advisory Meeting

June 20 - 21, 2002
Mayflower Hotel
Washington, D.C.

Detailed description of the workshop can be found at: