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Sanford receives $2 million to study prenatal brain development

Pilaz Lab, Sanford Research
Sanford Health
LJ Pilaz (center) and his lab of researchers hold a model of a human neuron Pilaz sculpted out of wood. They recently earned a $2 million NIH grant to study prenatal neuron development.

The National Institute of Health awarded Sanford Research a five-year, $2 million grant to study how neurons are developed inside the brain.

Sanford research scientists will use the grant to research gene mutations that cause a rare disease known as macrocephaly.

Macrocephaly is an enlargement of the brain that has symptoms similar to autism. It affects around one in 3,000 infants, according to a press release from Sanford.

Dr. Louis Jan Pilaz is the lead researcher for this project. He said they aim to "better identify how this disease arises inside the brain during brain development."

Krystal is the local host of "All Things Considered."