Henry Markram (Switzerland)

Prof Henry Markram is a world–renowned specialist in neuroscience and Professor of Neuroscience at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL) who has trailblazed initiatives that will give neuroscientists a new understanding of the brain and a better understanding of neurological diseases. He began his research career at the University of Cape Town in the 1980s, where he worked simultaneously in medicine and neuroscience. After earning his PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science, with distinction, he was a Fulbright scholar at the National Institutes of Health, and a Minerva Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research. In 1995, he returned to the Weizmann Institute, becoming an Associate Professor in 2000 and full Professor at EPFL in 2002. Prof Markram’s research has focused on synaptic plasticity and the micro circuitry of the neocortex, in which he has discovered fundamental principles governing synaptic plasticity and the structural and functional organisation of neural micro circuitry. Other key discoveries include the concept of liquid computing and the intense world theory of autism. Prof Markram is the founder and director of the Blue Brain Project, which aims to reconstruct the brain piece by piece and build a virtual brain in a supercomputer. Within five years he and his team have perfected a facility that can create realistic models of one of the brain's essential building blocks, which will form a foundation for larger models, leading towards a complete virtual brain. He is also the founder of the Brain Mind Institute to develop a data integration strategy for neuroscience and the coordinator of the Human Brain Project, one of two 10-year €1-billion flagship projects selected by the European Commission in 2013. Prof. Markram has published more than 100 papers and has one of the highest citation records in his area of research and stage of career.

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