Department News

"Big Science, Team Science, Open Science For Neuroscience"

July, 2017

On Thursday, October 6th, Christoph Koch, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle will be giving a lecture, "Big Science, Team Science, Open Science for Neuroscience" in the Old Red Amphitheater at 12:00pm. Professor Koch will also be holding a lecture at the Moody Gardens Imax Theater the evening before at 6:00pm. Both lectures are open to the UTMB community.

The lecture is part of the Robert and Russell Moody Lecture Series.

Over the past decade, the Allen Institute for Brain Science has produced a series of brain atlases. These are large (3 TB, >1 million slides) public resources, integrating genome-wide gene expression, and neuroanatomical data across the entire brain for developing and adult humans, non-human primates and mice, complemented by high-resolution, cellular-based anatomical connectivity data in several thousand mice. It is the largest integrated neuroscience database world-wide. Anybody can freely access this data without any restrictions at

Six years ago, we embarked on an ambitious 10-year initiative to understand the structure and function of the neocortex and associated satellite structures in humans and mice. We are setting up high through-put pipelines to exhaustively characterize the morphology, electrophysiology and transcriptome of cell types well as their synaptic interconnections in the laboratory mouse and in human neocortex (via a combination of fetal, neurosurgical and post-mortem tissues). We are building brain observatories to image the activities of 10,000s of neurons throughout the cortico-thalamic system in behaving mice, to record their electrical activities, and to analyze their connectivity at the ultra-structural level. We are constructing biophysically detailed as well as simplified computer simulations of these networks and of their information processing capabilities focusing on how the neocortical tissue gives rise to perception, behavior and consciousness.

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