Human Brain Project at IIT Madras

The Center for Computational Brain Research at IIT Madras is developing a high throughput computational and experimental pipeline to study cellular architecture, connectivity and molecular architecture in human brains. This effort is supported by the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India along with contributions from Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder, Infosys and Distinguished Alumnus of IITM. Our aim is to establish an integrated histology-imaging-compute pipeline at IIT Madras to acquire petabyte sized image data volumes, including from postmortem brains of subjects deceased from natural and medical causes. These datasets can also provide important and rare insights into neuronal pathways in the brain. for example, a brain with rabies infection can uniquely reveal neuronal pathways at a single neuron level in contrast with previous methods. In parallel, the project aims to develop technologies including high throughput slide scanner and digitizer technology, 10-100X faster than currently available instruments and a computation engine to handle Gigapixel and Terapixel level images and hundreds of Terabytes of neurohistology data. With a renewed interest in the understanding of the brain across the world as evidenced by the US Brain Initiative and the EU Human Brain Project, this project leverages expertise across-IITM, national, and international collaborations for results that would have significant impact on medicine, science and engineering. We anticipate that the project, in the near future, will seed an Indian Brain Initiative centered around the human brain.

Specifically, following are the project objectives:

  • Development of a high throughput data capture and computational pipeline for imaging whole human brains (Terapixels and Petavoxels) at a light microscopic resolution
  • Technology development for high throughput neurohistology pipeline with cellular resolution
  • Identification and analysis of neuronal architecture and pathways at a single neuron level
  • Generation of Visible data resources including the light-microscopic atlas of the human brain.
  • Team


    • Prof Mohanasankar Sivaparkasam (Project Lead)
    • A/Prof Jayaraj Joseph
    • A/Prof Manikandan Narayanan

    Research Scientists

    • Dr Jaikishan Jayakumar
    • Dr Richa Verma

    Chair Professors

    • Prof Partha Mitra
    • Prof Anand Raghunathan


    • Prof George Varghese, Christian Medical College, Vellore
    • Prof Anita Mahadevan, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru (NIMHANS)
    • Prof Kumutha J, Saveetha Medical College
    • Prof Chitra S, Saveetha Medical College