George Church, PhD – Harvard

Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Director, PersonalGenomes.org and the Church Lab

Dr. Church was part of a team of six that proposed in 2012 a Brain Activity Map which morphed into the BRAIN Initiative. They outlined specific experimental techniques that might be used to achieve what they termed a "functional
connectome"  as well as new technologies to detect and manipulate neuronal activity. In a 2015 Neuron article, they proposed establishing a national network of Brain Observatories.

Paul Alivisatos, PhD – UC Berkeley

Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley
Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Director, Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute

Dr. Alivisatos research breakthroughs include the synthesis of size- and shape-controlled nanoscrystals, and forefront studies of nanocrystal properties, including optical, electrical, structural and thermodynamic. He was also part of a team of six that proposed in 2012 a Brain Activity Map which morphed into the BRAIN Initiative.

Ralph Greenspan, PhD – UCSD

Associate Director, Kavli Institute for Mind and Brain 
Professor, Neurobiology UCSD and Director, Center for Brain Activity Mapping
Co-Director, Cal-Brain

Dr. Greenspan was part of a team of six that proposed in 2012 a Brain Activity Map which morphed into the BRAIN Initiative. One of his main interests currently is to understand the role of network level activity in the nervous system and among the genes, motivated by a strong belief that the state of these networks is of major importance in determining behavior.

Larry Abbott, PhD – Columbia

William Bloor Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Member of BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group (NINDS council)

Dr. Abbott, trained as a physicist, joined Columbia in 2005 as co-director of the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience. Using computational modeling and mathematical analysis, Dr. Abbott explores how single neurons respond to synaptic inputs, how neurons interact in neural circuits, and how large networks of neurons represent, store, and process information.

Cori Bargmann, PhD – Rockefeller

Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at Rockefeller University and head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior
Co-chair of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) and At large member of the Multi-Council Working Group (WCWG) for the BRAIN Initiative

Cori Bargmann was awarded the Kavli Prizein 2012 and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2013. Cori is known for her work on the behavior in the C. elegans, particularly olfaction in the worm.

Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD – UCSD/Salk

Professor of Biological Sciences at UCSD and Head ofComputational Neurobiology Laboratory (CNL) at Salk Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Member of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director

Sejnowski is interested in the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex, which holds our knowledge of the world and how to interact with it. Sejnowski's team uses sophisticated electrical and chemical monitoring techniques to measure changes that occur in the connections among nerve cells in the hippocampus during a simple form of learning.

Richard Huganir, PhD – John Hopkins

Professor and Director of the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University; Co-Director, Brain Science Institute; and HHMI investigator.
Member of Multi-Council Working Group (NIMH council)

Huganir's lab is credited for examining the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of neurotransmitter receptor function with a focus on glutamate receptors. Their studies have suggested that regulation of receptor function may be a major mechanism for the regulation of synaptic plasticity in the nervous system in health and disease.

Rafael Yuste, MD, PhD – Columbia

Professor, Biological Sciences and Neuroscience and Co-Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University
Member, Multi-Council Working Group (BRAIN Initiative)
Member, Advisory Committee to the Director (NIH)

Dr. Yuste has pioneered the application of imaging techniques, such as calcium imaging of neuronal circuits, two-photon imaging, photostimulation using caged compounds and holographic spatial light modulation microscopy.

Nenad Sestan, MD/PhD – Yale

Professor of Neurobiology, of Genetics and of Psychiatry, Yale University
Director, Sestan Lab

Research Interests- the evolution and development of neuronal circuits of the human cerebral cortex. Research in the Sestan Lab investigates how neurons acquire distinct identities and form precise connections in the developing cerebral cortex, a part of the brain involved in a variety of higher cognitive, emotional, sensory, and motor functions. The Lab also studies how these developmental processes have changed during evolution and in human disorders.

Loren M Frank, PhD – UCSF

Core Faculty, Program in Biological Sciences, UCSF Physiology Department
Director: Frank Laboratory

Frank's research interests center around learning and spatial coding in the hippocampal-cortical circuit. Frank is interested in understanding the neural correlates of learning and memory. In particular, his laboratory focuses on the circuitry of the hippocampus and adjacent regions. His goal is to examine the relationships among neural firing patterns, behavior, and anatomy to understand how the brain uses and stores information.

Michael Roukes, PhD – CalTech

Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering, CalTech Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Director, Roukes Group

Roukes research activities are currently focused on developing advanced nanodevices, engineering them into complex systems, and using them to enable fundamental problems in neuroscience and proteomics. A continuing thread in theoretical and experimental investigations focuses on fundamental properties of nanomechanical systems.

Research into brain’s GPS earns three neuroscientists Nobel Prize

"The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded one half to John O´Keefe and the other half jointly to May‐Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain."

"This year's Nobel Laureates have discovered a positioning system, an 'inner GPS' in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function.”

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