Allen Institute CEO Rui Costa on mapping the brain and paying early-career scientists decent salaries

Mapping the billions of cells that make up the brain is a task mammoth enough to keep hundreds of researchers across continents busy for years. But it’s just one of several ambitious projects the Allen Institute is helping tackle.

The nonprofit research institute, based in Seattle, was founded in 2003 by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen to go after big and basic scientific questions. It’s now home to 827 employees, many of whom are researchers working in divisions dedicated to brain science, immunology, cell biology, and neuronal activity.

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