Advanced Course. Learning and Memory: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms

28 May 2017 - 04 June 2017 Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy Open related link

Susumu Tonegawa, MIT, Cambridge. USA
Alcino J. Silva, University of California Los Angeles. USA


Richard Morris, Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems, University of Edinburgh, UK

Susumu Tonegawa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA & RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan

Alcino Silva, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Nicolas Bazan, LSU Center of Excellence in Neuroscience, New Orleans, USA

Matthew Wilson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

Howard Eichenbaum, Center for Memory & Brain, Boston University, USA

Kate Jeffery, University College, London, UK

Recent ground-breaking developments in neuroscience, such as optogenetics, in vivo 2-photon confocal microscopy, head mounted microscopes, powerful new developments in modeling, behavioral neuroscience approaches, and sophisticated brain imaging tools, have changed dramatically studies of memory. Most importantly, these developments have fostered interdisciplinary studies that have led to integrated molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive and behavioral explanations of how memories are allocated, formed, consolidated, reconsolidated and retrieved. These studies have also led to mechanistic cross-disciplinary studies of memory disorders, which in some cases led to the development of targeted treatments that are changing how we imagine treating the considerable health burden associated with this large class of conditions. This Advanced Course will review these advances and introduce participants to the technologies and approaches critical to these studies.

Find out more:

4th HBP School - Future Computing: Brain Science and Artificial Intelligence

12 June 2017 - 18 June 2017 Obergurgl Open related link

4th HBP School Future Computing – Brain Science and Artificial Intelligence
Obergurgl, Austria, 12-18 June 2017


The 4th HBP School offers a comprehensive programme covering all aspects of software, hardware, simulation, databasing, robotics, machine learning and theory relevant to the HBP research programme.
Lectures, hands-on tutorials and practical exercises on software tools and neuromorphic hardware systems provide a high level view of the project, computing and ethical aspects of artificial neural systems.
The school offers ample opportunities for scientific exchange between students and faculty during dedicated discussion sessions, tutorials and various social events.

Programme structure
Discussion sessions
Hands-on tutorials
Student lightning talks
Poster presentations
Social events 

Application for this school is open to the whole student community and early post-docs. Up to 40 applicants will be selected based on an academic decision by the Scientific Director. Participants are required to submit an abstract on their current research with their application. Applications from young female investigators are highly encouraged.

Scientific Director
Karlheinz Meier | UHEI

Organised by
HBP Education Programme Office

Upcoming deadlines
Application deadline: 22 March 2017

There is no registration fee. Accommodation will be provided.
Seven travel grants will be available upon request (European students only).

HBP Education Programme Office
Medical University Innsbruck
Müllerstraße 59, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Phone: +43 512 9003 71240

Gordon Cheng | TUM
Giacomo Indiveri | ETHZ
Karlheinz Meier | UHEI
Dan Nilsson | LU
More TBC

The venue
The 4th HBP School will take place at the Obergurgl University Center, which is located right next to the ski slopes and hiking trails and only five minutes’ walk from the village centre. It was founded in 1951 by the Obergurgl federal Sports Centre in cooperation with the Alpine Research Centre of the University of Innsbruck. Over the past decades, numerous renowned mountain guides, ski instructors, researchers and scientists gathered here to collaborate on major contributions to sports and science in the Alps.

Obergurgl is located in the Ötztal Alps in Tyrol, Austria, and part of the municipality of Sölden. The village is located 1,907 m (6,257 ft.) above sea level and is primarily a tourist resort with only about 400 permanent residents. Due to its remote location, it is very popular not only for tourists but also among scientists and researchers.

Computing, Brain Science, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Machine Learning, Neuromorphic Computing, Databases, High Performance Computing

Sleep and Cognition

08 July 2017 - 15 July 2017 Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy Open related link

Coordinator: Chiara Cirelli
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison. USA


Ian Born, University of Tübingen, Germany

Gyorgy Buzsaki, New York University, USA

Chiara Cirelli, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Derk-Jan Dijk, University of Surrey, UK

Bradley Postle, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Cliff Saper, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

Giulio Tononi, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

The Advanced Course will cut across multiple fields of sleep studies and will feature dedicated sessions addressing important emerging areas. Emphasis will be placed on cutting-edge methods and hypotheses for understanding sleep and its effects on cognitive functions, and on how neurophysiological/genetic/imaging approaches can shed light on the functions of sleep and its essential role in maintaining and preserving vigilance, performance, learning and memory. as well as forgetting. The Advanced Course will be an interactive, multidisciplinary forum in which participants will discard outdated notions, gain an appreciation for the latest thinking, and develop insights that will help navigate the complexity of sleep research.

Neuroepigenetics and Epitranscriptomics

19 August 2017 - 26 August 2017 Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy Open related link

Coordinator: Schahram Akbarian
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA


Tracy Bale, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Farah Lubin, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, USA

Angel Barco, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, Spain

Art Petronis, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Canada

Ian Maze, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA

Marcelo Wood, University of California at Irvine, USA

There is increasing evidence that, in addition to DNA sequence and the environment, epigenetic modifications of DNA and histone proteins may contribute to complex phenotypes. Inherited and/or acquired epigenetic factors are partially stable and have regulatory roles in numerous genetic and
genomic activities, thus making epigenetics a promising research path in etiological studies of neuropsychiatric disorders. Methodological and
technological aspects of epigenomic strategies in complex conditions and diseases will be focus of this Advanced Course, looking to understand how
environmental influences or experience-stimuli trigger long-lasting changes in gene transcription and protein synthesis in the brain reflecting in longterm effects. These will provide novel concepts for understanding transcriptional mechanisms subserving neuroadaptation, adult cognition and mental health.

Cognitive Decline and Aging

01 September 2017 - 08 September 2017 Certosa di Pontognano, Siena, Italy Open related link

Coordinator: John H. Morrison
University of California, Davis. USA


Roberta Brinton, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

Mark Baxter, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA

Tara Spires-Jones, University of Edinburgh, UK

Jennifer Bizon, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

Naftali Raz, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA

Ulman Lindenberger, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

The interface between cognitive aging that might be considered normal, or at least not devastating, and the early stages of AD has fascinated neuroscientists, neurologists, and perhaps writers for a long time. That interface and whether one is likely to progress from cognitive decline to AD also fills elderly people with fear. This Advanced Course will focus primarily on the events that lead to cognitive decline in the absence of AD, but we will also discuss mechanisms that might be relevant to both conditions. While it is quite clear that the dementia of AD results from neuron death, particularly in circuits that mediate learning and memory, it is equally clear that age-related cognitive decline does not result from neuron death and is thus not a mild form of AD. Age-related cognitive decline appears to result primarily from synaptic alterations and other changes that affect neuronal communication in circuits mediating learning and memory that are still intact. These circuits must retain synaptic health in order to function properly, and certain events associated with aging lead to declining synaptic health. What is the nature of these age-related alterations and what causes them? Can they be prevented or treated? What are the mechanisms involved in synaptic aging and are they in any way similar to those implicated in neuron death? How do these synaptic alterations lead to cognitive decline? Why is cognition so vulnerable to aging? Do brain regions age differently and at different rates? Are there changes across the lifespan or does cognitive aging and its neurobiological causes occur suddenly? We will address these issues and more in this Advanced Course.

Single Cell Omics

17 September 2017 - 24 September 2017 Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy Open related link

Coordinator: James Eberwine
University of Pennsylvania, USA

Co-Coordinator: Scott Fraser
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA


James Eberwine, University of Pennsylvania. USA

Scott Fraser, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. USA

Thierry Voet, KU Leuven, Belgium

Sarah Teichmann, Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK

Jin Zhang, University of California, San Diego, USA

Amy Herr, University of Berkeley, USA

Jonathan Sweedler, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

Neuroscience has entered a critical phase, with several international large-scale efforts devoted to the analysis and understanding of brain function. Studies exploiting new technologies for defining the connections in the brain, driving neuronal activity and modeling of neuronal processing are each hampered by our incomplete knowledge of the brain’s constituent parts. Fortunately, a bevy of single cell analyses are now being deployed to better understand the cells that constitute the functioning nervous system. These approaches offer insights into how cells function individually as the building blocks for understanding how they work in ensemble to create functional pathways.

A set of emerging tools are available to assess the molecular and cell biology of single cells, including genomic analyses of somatic mutations, epigenomics to explain the influence of the environment upon genome expression, and transcriptomics to gain insight into the capacity of a cell to synthesize proteins and modulate its environment. Powerful technologies permit a variety of cell constituents to be addressed, including proteins, post-translational modifications, peptides and metabolites. Novel biosensors offer parallel analyses of cellular physiological states, reporting on the pH, membrane voltage and metabolic state. Multiplexed together, such methodologies offer a far more complete biological understanding than the more typical gene expression analyses, providing a rich picture of each single cell’s biology in their normal context – information needed to fully interpret the meaning of results from transcriptomics and proteomics studies. This Advanced Course is designed to provide the foundational knowledge needed to critically evaluate the design and execution of single cell omic studies, through daily lectures by the Faculty, critical reading of papers and extensive didactic discussion sessions. In the sessions, discussion will focus on the proper framing of scientific questions to best utilize these techniques, the limitations and advantages of each technique, and what the data can tell us about neuronal function.

The Neuroscience of Obesity

17 September 2017 - 24 September 2017 Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy Open related link

Coordinator: Tamas Horvath
Yale University, New Haven. USA

Scott Sternson, HHMI, Janelia Research Farms, Ashburn, USA

Sabrina Diano, Yale University, New Haven, USA

Matthias Tschöp, Helmholtz Zentrum and Technical University, Munich, Germany

Jens Bruning, Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne, Germany

Tibor Harkany, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Giovanni Marsicano, Neurocentre Magendie, Bordeaux, France

Significant progress has been made in recent years in the understanding the role of the nervous system in obesity. Not only several different neuronal pathways, neurotransmitters and hormones have been identified as major players in the regulation of feeding and body weight, bu also energy balance in mammals is controlled by a complex network of interacting feedback mechanisms that involve peripheral organs in addition to higher brain centers.

This Advanced Course will provide conceptual- and cutting edge technological framework for state-of-the-art of neuroscience on energy metabolism. The Faculty represents diverse expertise in molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral approaches on contemporary questions regarding the role of the brain in systemic metabolism regulation and how the periphery affects complex brain functions via neuronal circuits and brain cells.