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Katrin Amunts to Present on Decoding the Human Brain at PASC17

Today the PASC17 Conference announced Professor Katrin Amunts plenary presentation will be entitled, “Towards the Decoding of the Human Brain.” Regarded as one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists in the field of brain mapping, Dr. Amunts is director of the Cécile and Oskar Vogt Institute of Brain Research at the University of Düsseldorf, and director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

The human brain has a multi-level organization and high complexity. New approaches are necessary to decode the brain with its 86 billion nerve cells, each with 10,000 connections. 3D Polarized Light Imaging, for example, elucidates the connectional architecture at the level of axons, while keeping the topography of the whole organ; it results in data sets of several petabytes per brain, which should be actively accessible while minimizing their transport. The Human Brain Project creates a cutting-edge HPC- and HPDA infrastructure to address such challenges including cloud-based collaboration and development platforms with databases, workflow systems, petabyte storage, and supercomputers.

Katrin Amunts received a doctorate in neuroscience and anatomy from the Institute of Brain Research, Moscow, before postdoctoral study at the Cécile and Oskar Vogt Institute of Brain Research at the University of Düsseldorf. In 1999 she moved to Forschungszentrum Jülich and established a new research unit for brain mapping. She later held professorships at RWTH Aachen University, before returning to Düsseldorf in 2013, where she is director of the Cécile and Oskar Vogt Institute of Brain Research, as well as being director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1) at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Professor Amunts is a member of the editorial board of Brain Structure and Function, and vice chair of the German Ethics Council. She is spokesperson for the Helmholtz Association program “Decoding the Human Brain” and the Helmholtz Portfolio Theme “Supercomputing and Modeling for the Human Brain.” Since 2013, she has led “Human Brain Organization,” a subproject of the European Commission’s flagship Human Brain Project, and was recently elected as chair of the Scientific and Infrastructure Board of the HBP. She and her team aim to develop a multi-level and multi-scale brain atlas to better understand the organizational principles of the human brain, and use methods of high-performance computing to generate ultra-high resolution human brain models.

The PASC17 Conference will take place June 26-28 in Lugano, Switzerland.

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