Report: BRI International Symposium 2019

The 9th annual international symposium was held at Brain Research Institute, Niigata University on March 8-9, 2019. This year's theme was "Visualization of brain network and function". The symposium included special lectures by Dr Yulong Li (Peking University, China), Dr Huck Hui Ng (Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore) and Dr Atsushi Miyawaki (RIKEN Center for Brain Science) in addition to four sessions with 9 speakers from Japan and overseas. There were also 24 poster presentations by both on-campus and extramural researchers. A total of 151 people attended the two-day symposium and the venue was filled with vibrant energy, accompanied by the arrival of spring outside.

In recent years, neuroscience has been dramatically advanced by novel interdisciplinary technologies based on various scientific fields including genetic engineering, optics, informatics and chemistry. Such innovative technologies and concepts have become a collective drive to spur groundbreaking discoveries that will change how we understand the brain. Reflecting such a trend, this year's symposium invited distinguished scientists that lead the community to apply new technologies from diverse research fields. Drs Li and Miyawaki shared next generation of technologies to visualize neural circuits and brain mechanisms with the audience. Dr Ng presented his work on 3D organoids technology that can make the next leap in understanding neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative diseases. Other speakers were the experts who develop next generation of technology and the scientists using new technologies to push the frontiers in neuroscience. The symposium offered attendees a valuable insight that a single expertise is not sufficient to lead the future of neuroscience research. It is therefore essential to take an interdisciplinary approach through joint research as well as to get access to the knowledge of other fields. We hope the symposium has provided momentum for inspiring new ideas and approaches so as to enhance joint research between different fields.

We would like to thank all the speakers, poster presenters, attendees and administrative staff for their contributions to making the event successful.

By Prof Kazuki Tainaka (Dept of System Pathology for Neurological Disorders)

Day 1 (Click to enlarge images.)
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Day 2 (Click to enlarge images.)
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