LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —
The Brain Forum 2016, held recently in EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland, welcomed 1400 visitors; raising attendance by 40% compared to the previous year. Dr. Jamil El-Imad, CEO of The Brain Forum, is extremely pleased with the outcome and that again the Forum has succeeded in uniting diverse stakeholders in face of one of the biggest challenges of this era.
During the opening keynote session “Practical lessons in machine learning”, research scientist, Greg Corrado, gave an overview of Google’s current research in machine intelligence. “Deep learning” is a huge step forward and has allowed Google unprecedented achievements. Dr. Corrado stated “This is as much art as it is science,” convincing the audience that machine learning would be a major technological cornerstone.
The Brain Forum Innovation Award offered opportunities for startups to connect with leading experts in brain research and business. The French start-up “Rhythm” won the Audience Award with its first product “Dreem”, a wearable headband monitoring brain activity; “PolyNeuron” won the Jury Award with its new class of immunomodulatory drug. MassChallenge awarded “Pragma Therapeutics” for its new concept linked to mGlu7 receptor allosteric inhibition to prevent or treat glutamate-induced brain and ear dysfunctions.
The Brain Forum welcomed back the most important global brain initiatives. Prof. Mu-ming Poo from the China Brain Science Project explained to the audience that China will count on its large populations and numerous breeding centers for non-human experimentation to tackle neurological diseases, while Prof. Hideyuko Okano representing Japan’s Brain /MINDS initiative showed how Japan’s advanced marmoset program is supporting brain mapping research.
The Swiss-funded Blue Brain project, presented by Prof. Henry Markram, works on digital reconstruction and simulation of the brain. The Blue Brain project has developed virtual brain matter in which various behaviors can be observed without altering the model. From the European Commission, Dr. Catherine Berens showed how funding and collaborative research is handled on a continental scale and Prof. David Menon spoke about how CENTER-TBI strives for better characterization of initial disease severity and effectiveness of care. Lastly, Prof. Terry Sejnowski from the US BRAIN 2025 focused on genetics, physiology, anatomy, behavior, theoretical modeling, computational statistics and data sharing.
In the final keynote session, Prof. David Anderson showed how he had isolated mating and aggression mechanisms in the brain of mice and fruit flies, and that the genetic identification of hypothalamic attack neurons and their manipulations open new translational approaches to treat aggression.
Summing up, Dr. El-Imad stated that the future of brain science lies in collaborative research and he is looking forward to seeing new collaborations develop as a result of The Brain Forum.
The Brain Forum was launched in 2013 to advance our understanding of how the brain works and to accelerate the application and value of this knowledge in society and the economy.
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, is one of the most international higher education institutions in Europe and it is also home to the Brain Mind Institute, which aims to understand the fundamental principles of brain function in health and disease.
For more information, please contact:
The Brain Forum
Christophe Tournier, press office, +41-21-517-67-17