2015: Next Generation NeuroTechnologies

About Us

In response to the President’s BRAIN initiative, Columbia University announces the creation of its NeuroTechnology Center (NTC). The center will include faculty from the School of Arts and Sciences (A&S), the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the Zuckerman Mind, Brain, and Behavior Institute (Z-MBBI) and the Kavli Institute for Brain Science.

The mission of the NTC is to draw together interdisciplinary investigators to develop advanced optical, electrical and computational technologies for the study of complex neurobiological systems. To do so, the Center will foster and support the collaboration of groups with interdisciplinary skills across the university with the common goal of promoting the development of the next generation of advanced technologies for Neuroscience. This Center will provide scientific and intellectual cohesion to an already existing group of independent researchers in the biological and physical sciences and engineering. An additional mission is to facilitate the education and training of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty on the newest neurotechnologies. A final goal is to help crystalize the formation of a novel neurotechnology industry in the New York City area.

The vision of the center is an interacting network of tool-building laboratories that will create new neurotechniques that serve the Columbia University and the scientific community at large, forming one of the strongest neurotechnology groups in the world.

Examples of projects encompassed within NTC’s mission include the development of novel in-vivo optical imaging methods or microelectrode technologies for use in neuroscience and of novel computational methods to analyze large-scale recordings of neuronal activity. These technologies will be developed in close integration with researchers in the Z-MBBI Institute, who will be natural users of these technologies. The generation of highly novel and complex data from NTC’s technologies will also lead to strong affiliations with Columbia’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering (IDSE), whose expertise in the analysis of large scale imaging databases will become critical.

The NTC is led by Rafael Yuste, Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience, known for his work on the development of optical methods in neuroscience. Yuste was the leading author of the Brain Activity Map proposal that gave rise to the BRAIN initiative. The NTC is co-directed by Ken Shepard, Professor of Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, an expert in electrical design and nanofabrication who also participated in the Brain Activity Map workshops and proposals, and by Liam Paninski, Professor of Statistics and Neuroscience, an specialist in novel data analysis methods for neuroscience.

The NTC is funded by a combination of internal and external sources, including a seed grant during the first three years from the Kavli Foundation. NTC activities began on November 3rd-4th, 2014 with the inaugural Kavli Futures Symposium: The Novel NeuroTechnologies, and this is the second annual symposium.

Schedule and Speakers
Click here for PDF version of 2015 schedule.

 Saturday September 26th
Breakfast (5th floor mezzanine NWC) 8:00 – 8:30am
Speaker Title Time
Rafael Yuste, Columbia NTC Welcome 8:30 – 8:35am
Miyoung Chung, Kavli Foundation Introduction Kavli Futures Symposium 8:35 – 8:40am
Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation White House Brain Initiative 8:40 – 9:00am
Session I: Neuro Chemistry
Moderator: Virginia Cornish
Anne Andrews, UCLA Micro- to Nanoscale Neurotransmitter Sensors 9:00 – 9:30am
Dirk Trauner, Munich Controlling Biological Activity with Photopharmacology 9:30 – 10:00am
Luke Lavis, HHML Janelia From Drugs to Dyes and Back Again 10:00 – 10:30am
Discussion: Chemistry Technologies for Neuro 10:30 – 10:45am
Coffee Break (5th floor mezzanine NWC) 10:45 – 11:00am

Session II: Neuro Computation
Moderator: Liam Paninski

Jonathan Pillow, Princeton Flexible, Scalable Statistical Methods for Modeling the Representation of Sensory and Decision-Related Information in Neural Populations 11:00 – 11:30am
Dmitri Chklovskii, Simons Center for Data Analysis Similarity Matching: A Principle of Neural Computation 11:30 – 12:00pm
Jeremy Freeman, HHMI Janelia Computation + Neuroscience 12:00 – 12:30pm
Discussion: Neuro Computation Technologies 12:30 – 12:45pm
Lunch 12:45 – 2:00pm
(optional) NYC NeuroTechnolog Fair (6th floor mezzanine NWC) 1:00 – 2:00pm

Session III: Nano Neuro
Moderator: Ken Shepard

Jon Viventi, Duke High-Resolution Brain Machine Interfaces using Flexible Silicon Electronics 2:00 – 2:30pm
Polina Anikeeva, MIT Interrogation of Neural Circuits with Optoelectric and Magnetic Materials 2:30 – 3:00pm
Hong-kun Park, Harvard CMOS-Nanoelectrode Array for High Fidelity, Multiplexed Interrogation of Neuronal Networks 3:00 – 3:30pm

Discussion: Nano Neuro Technologies

3:30 – 3:45pm
Coffee Break (5th floor mezzanine NWC) 3:45 – 4:00pm

Session IV: Neuro Imaging
Moderator: Darcy Peterka

Na Ji, Janelia HHMI Wavefront Shaping for High-Resolution Deep Brain Imaging 4:00 – 4:30pm
Spencer Smith, SLAB UNC Multiplexed Roving Surveillance Across Cortical Areas 4:30 – 5:00pm
Karel Svoboda, Janelia HHMI Illuminating the Neural Circuits Underlying Behavior 5:00 – 5:30pm
Discussion: Neuro Imaging Technologies 5:30 – 5:45pm
Rafael Yuste Closing Remarks 5:45 – 6:00pm
Reception and Poster Session (6th floor mezzanine NWC) 6:00 – 7:00pm
Registration & Accommodations

Registration has closed, thank you for your interest!