Winfried Denk

Max Planck Institute for Medical Research

Towards the Circuit Diagram of the Mouse Brain

Monday 10 February 2014

Location: Oxford Martin School, Old Indian Institute, 34 Broad Street, Oxford

Abstract: Reverse engineering the brain is the goal of neuroscience. Blueprints are the core of engineering and it is their recreation that is the goal of reverse engineering.

Can we recreate the blueprints (circuit diagrams) of the brain? I will describe our efforts to do just that with the help of 3D electron microscopy, computer assisted image segmentation and crowd sourcing.

Biography: Winfried Denk holds a PhD in Physics from Cornell University and has been the Director of the Biomedical Imaging Department at the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research since 2000. He previously spent 9 years at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, after a brief postdoc at the IBM Research Laboratory in Rueschlikon, Switzerland. He has worked on multi-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, near-field optical microscopy, auditory hair cells, two-photon microscopy, retina, and, most recently, on 3D EM imaging for the reconstruction of neural circuits. Denk is a recipient of the 2012 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience.