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

Contact: or



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



Comments are closed.