Institute for Brain Science @Columbia

The Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University probes the complex network of brain cells and their connections.

Led by Eric Kandel, M.D. (2000 Nobel laureate), and co-directors Thomas Jessell (2008 Kavli Prize laureate) and Rafael Yuste (Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute), the Institute uses advanced imaging technology to observe neurons, synapses, and neural circuits as they develop and function, and as they respond to learning.

Columbia Neuroscience

Columbia Neuroscience is centered around the Kavli Institute for Brain Science and the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute with 70 labs in 15 different departments.

Cumulatively, the Columbia neuroscience community of world-class neurobiologists generates more research funding than any other group in the country. Among them are two Nobel Prize winners, KIBS Director Eric Kandel and KIBS Investigator Richard Axel; 11 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators; eight members of the National Academy of Sciences; and 13 members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

How to look inside the brain

There have been remarkable advances in understanding the brain, but how do you actually study the neurons inside it? Using gorgeous imagery, neuroscientist and TED Fellow Carl Schoonover shows the tools that let us see inside our brains.

Filmed February 2012 at TED 2012
Uploaded to YouTube on July 12, 2013 by TED

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.

Ultrasound tech for degenerative diseases

"Ultrasound technology could treat degenerative brain diseases"
Science Nation – April 2, 2014

Elisa Konofagou, a bioengineer at Columbia University, believes ultrasound technology could become be a vital component in treating and perhaps curing degenerative brain diseases such as Cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. One big problem is associated with the blood/brain barrier. Konofagou believes ultrasound waves could be one key to turning the blood/brain barrier on and off.

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.

The pursuit of ignorance

"What does real scientific work look like? As neuroscientist Stuart Firestein jokes: It looks a lot less like the scientific method and a lot more like "farting around ... in the dark." In this witty talk, Firestein gets to the heart of science as it is really practiced and suggests that we should value what we don't know -- or "high-quality ignorance" -- just as much as what we know"

Filmed February 2013 at TED 2013
Uploaded to YouTube on September 24, 2013 by TED

Oliver Hobert, PhD – Columbia

Professor Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Columbia Neuroscience; HHMI Investigator
Director, Hobert Lab

Oliver Hobert studies molecular mechanisms that control the generation of the enormous diversity of cell types in the nervous system. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system, his lab decodes genomic cis-regulatory information of gene batteries expressed in specific neuronal cell types and identifies trans-acting factors that act at various stages of neuronal development to impose specific terminal differentiation programs onto individual neuron types.

Hobert Lab – Columbia

Principal Investigator: Oliver Hobert
Columbia Neuroscience

The main focus of the laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms that generate the astounding diversity of cell types in a nervous system. Using the C.elegans model system, they have revealed a core regulatory logic for how terminal neuronal identity is controlled in several different neuron types and have demonstrated that these regulatory mechanisms are conserved in chordates.

NIH Neuroscience Seminar- March 23, 2015

TITLE: Learning to Predict: Studies of Neural Circuits in Fish and Flies

AUTHOR: Larry Abbott, Ph.D., Columbia University

TIME: , 12:00:00 PM DATE: Monday, March 16, 2015

PLACE: Porter Neuroscience Research Center

HOST: Bruno Averbeck

Drivers for neuron gene expression

Principal Investigator: Oliver Hobert
Columbia Neuroscience
Title: "Developing drivers for neuron type-specific gene expression"
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Hobert and colleagues will create a highly selective technology for experimentally manipulating genes in neurons, by tapping into the regulatory machinery of individual cell types.

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