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Engineering the Brain: Deploying a New Neural Toolkit

Saturday, June 3, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

A new generation of technology is revolutionizing neuroscience, allowing a closer study of the brain than had ever seemed possible. They are hybrid disciplines of optics, genetics, and synthetic biology with the ability to manipulate brain activity, often in real time. Some of these techniques hold promise for the treatment of diseases like depression or schizophrenia through direct stimulation of neural connections. This salon takes a deep dive into the techniques and promise of the neural toolkit that is transforming brain science.

Background image courtesy of Shutterstock.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Guy McKhannNeurosurgeon, Neuroscientist

Guy McKhann has over 20 years of experience as a neurosurgeon/neuroscientist at Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital, combining clinical skill and compassionate care to maximize patient outcomes.

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Elizabeth M C HillmanPhysicist, Engineer, Neuroscientist

Dr. Elizabeth Hillman is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at Columbia University, and a member of the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and Kavli Institute for Brain Science.

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Dayu LinNeurobiologist

In 2001, Dayu Lin received a B.S. in biological sciences from Fudan University in China. In 2006, she received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Duke University, working with Larry Katz. She studied as a postdoctoral fellow with David Anderson at California Institute of Technology.

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Conor ListonNeuroscientist

Conor Liston is a neuroscientist and psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College, and his laboratory operates at the interface between these two fields. He leads a team of scientists who are working to advance our understanding of how brain circuits support learning, memory, and motivation, and how these processes are disrupted in depression, autism, and other neuropsychiatric illnesses.

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Anthony ZadorNeuroscientist

Anthony Zador is a neuroscientist interested in how brain circuits give rise to behavior, and how disruption of brain circuits can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders like autism, depression, and schizophrenia.

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