Our core mission is to make an impact and move the field of neuroscience forward.

Allan Jones, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer

Our Institute

Our brains are what make us human. They give rise to our thoughts, actions, movements and desires, store our memories, and enable us to navigate our world every day. Yet despite decades of research—and impressive knowledge gathered about other aspects of the human body, including our entire genetic sequence—the brain remains largely a mystery.

The Allen Institute was established to answer some of the most pressing questions in neuroscience, grounded in an understanding of the brain and inspired by our quest to uncover the essence of what makes us human.

Using a “big science” approach, the Allen Institute enables the global scientific community to more efficiently make discoveries that bring real-world utility.

Our big science model uses innovative technology, is based on a disciplined and interdisciplinary approach and fuels an open model of sharing data, tools and insights with the broader community to achieve the greatest impact.

Our Vision

Understanding what makes us human is no small task. We are beginning with three primary areas of focus:

  • Deciphering how information is coded and processed in the brain;
  • Unraveling the codes within cells that govern their identity and function; and
  • Characterizing and cataloguing the wide variety of cells that constitute the brain.

Our Mission

Our mission is to accelerate the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease. Using a big science approach, we generate useful public resources, drive technological and analytical advances, and discover fundamental brain properties through integration of experiments modeling and theory.

Our Values


We maintain focus on the end goal to guide our efforts and our choices. Our success is measurable. Outcomes are critical. We strive every day to make a difference, in our workplace and in the world.


We believe that charting new territory is essential to forward progress. We value new solutions to challenges big and small. We are always seeking new ideas that improve our work, extend the boundaries of what is possible and keep us at the forefront of our field.


Our common goals come first. We believe that the result of working together as a team far exceeds the sum of our individual strengths. We openly communicate, value multiple perspectives and help each other and the broader community, always looking for the best ways to reach our goals.


We are only satisfied when at the top of our game. We deliver quality and strive for continuous improvement. We are dedicated to providing our colleagues and the scientific community with results they can count on.


We share a common sense of purpose to make a positive impact and drive progress in ways never before possible. We are committed to doing good – for our own community, the scientific community and society at large.


We hold ourselves accountable to the greater scientific and global community that our work serves. We honor our commitments to each other and to our external stakeholders.