Science Colloquium by Prof. Kamil Uğurbil

The Science Colloquium on February 22nd, 2018, at 14:30 in Founders Hall, “Harnessing Physics and Neuroscience towards meeting a Central Scientific Challenge in 21stCentury: Understanding Human Brain Function” will be given by Prof. Kamil Uğurbil in celebration of Koç University’s 25th anniversary.

Prof. Uğurbil is the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair Professor in Radiology, Neurosciences, and Medicine and is the Director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota. Prof. Uğurbil contributed significantly to the development of functional MRI (fMRI) which measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. His primary focus has been the development and application of methods capable of obtaining high resolution and high accuracy functional and anatomical information in the human brain, targeting spatial scales ranging from the whole brain to elementary neuronal ensembles exemplified by cortical columns and layers. Prof. Uğurbil is the recipient of various prestigious awards including 2016 Vehbi Koç Award which was given in Health Sciences.


“Harnessing Physics and Neuroscience towards meeting a Central Scientific Challenge in 21st Century – Understanding Human Brain Function”

A central challenge of the 21st Century is to understand the human brain, not only because we are fascinated by its incredible capabilities but also because increasingly, neuropsychiatric disorders (mental and behavioral disorders plus neurological diseases) dominate the health care burden in all industrialized societies. This challenge has led to major initiatives such as the Human Connectome Project and the BRAIN Initiative in the USA, and the Human Brain Project in Europe. Brain function is mediated by hierarchical local and long-range circuits organized at multiple spatial scales. Bridging and spanning these multiple scales of organization is a daunting challenge but is essential for understanding brain function and ultimately dysfunction. This lecture will be a general overview of recent advances in physics and neurosciences that come together to provide detailed insights into parts of this puzzle and are poised to allow us in the near future to integrate information from the level of a single synapse to whole brain networks that ultimately define behavior.

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