Enlightenment is a consortium of 5 research institutions in Europe and Canada
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Nanobiophysics group @ Department of Physics and Astronomy develops nanoengineered materials and optoelectronic methods to probe and/or induce the activity of electrogenic cells with (sub)cellular resolution. We design and build the set-up for combined light-stimulation/electrical recordings, investigate light absorption, scattering and heat dissipation in the tissue and perform closed-loop experiments.
Principal investigator: Prof. Carmen Bartic (Coordinator ENLIGHTENMENT)
Senior Scientist ENLIGHTENMENT: Dr. Ling Wang
Research Assistant ENLIGHTENMENT: Ms. Barbara Gysbrechts
Neurobiology and Gene Therapy group @ Department of Neurosciences focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. We design, evaluate and optimize the optovectors and performs their initial validation by characterizing expression and toxicity in cell culture and in rodent brains.
Principal investigator: Prof. Veerle Baekelandt
Senior Scientist ENLIGHTENMENT: Dr. Chris Van den Haute
Donders Centre for Neuroscience, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
The Neuronal Networks of memory group (PI: Prof. Francesco Battaglia) is a multi-disciplinary group using multiple cutting edge experimental techniques to obtain large-scale images of brain activity at the microscopic (neuronal ensembles) and mesoscopic (local field potentials) levels during active behavior and sleep. We also develop new data analytical methods to make sense of these complex data. In this project, we apply the closed loop technologies to interfere with spontaneous activity during sleep, in the attempt to modulate memory.
Principal investigator: Prof. Francesco Battaglia
Research Assistant ENLIGHTENMENT: Ms. Esther Holleman
Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
Michele Giugliano’s Lab @ Department of Biomedical Sciences is active in cellular and network-level electrophysiology, combining a variety of experimental techniques both in vitro and in vivo with theoretical tools to quantitatively dissect single-neuron basis of neuronal network activity. In ENLIGHTENMENT the laboratory focuseS on understanding how neurons respond to photo activation when addresses by wide-field and patterned illumination.
Principal investigator: Prof. Michele Giugliano
CNRS, Ecole Normale Superieure Paris, France
Cocco-Monasson Group @ Ecole Normale Superieure is developing and applying statistical physics tools to model and interpret the concerted activity of the components of large biological systems. In particular, we develop inference methods and algorithms for high-dimensional problems, where the number of parameters to be inferred is of the same order as the number of available data. Those methods find applications in the inference of functional biological networks in genomics, ecology, neuroscience … In neuroscience, we work on models of place cells, in connection with recent “teleportation” experiments on rats, on large-scale modeling of the neural activity in the zebrafish, measured with optical imaging, and, in the context of the Enlightenment project, on the design of new methods to identify and manipulate cell assemblies. Our techniques are based on tools coming from random matrix theory and, more generally, the statistical physics of disordered systems.
Principal Investigators: Prof. Simona Cocco and Prof. Remi Monasson
Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge
Polaris Brain Dynamics Group of Bruce McNaughton studies the brain dynamics in health and disease, in particular, in the field of decoding memory retrieval both during sleep and during wakefulness by analysis of neural ensemble activity. Recently, the group is developing cellular resolution functional neural imaging based on dual in situ hybridization analysis of activity dependent immediate-early gene expression, also within the focus of the ENLIGHTENMENT project.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Bruce McNaughton