Announcing the Wiring the Brain conference 2011

I am pleased to announce the Wiring the Brain conference, which will be held over the 12th-15th April 2011, in Ireland. This is an international scientific conference which aims to explore how the brain is wired and what happens when that wiring is faulty.

It will bring together world-leaders in developmental neurobiology, psychiatric genetics, molecular and cellular neuroscience, systems and computational neuroscience, cognitive science and psychology. A major goal is to break down traditional boundaries between these disciplines to enable links to be made between differing levels of observation and explanation.

We will explore, for example, how mutations in genes controlling the formation of synaptic connections between neurons can alter local circuitry, changing the interactions between brain regions, thus altering the functions of large-scale neuronal networks, leading to specific cognitive dysfunction, which may ultimately manifest as the symptoms of schizophrenia or autism. Though the subjects dealt with will be much broader than that, this example illustrates the kind of explanatory framework we hope to develop, level by level, from molecules to mind.

A list of confirmed speakers is provided below. We are excited to have an outstanding programme of leading researchers across many different fields. The full programme is available at http://www.wiringthebrain.com. Registration and abstract submission are now open. You can follow updates on the meeting and pre-meeting discussion topics on the Wiring the Brain Facebook group.

The conference is being held in association with Neuroscience Ireland and with BioMed Central and we are delighted to have them both involved. We have also received generous support from Science Foundation Ireland and from other sponsors (listed on the conference website).

The venue is the beautiful Ritz Carlton hotel in Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, a convenient drive from Dublin airport and one of the most scenic areas of the country.

We hope to see some of you there!


The Organising Committee

Kevin Mitchell, Trinity College Dublin
Aiden Corvin, Trinity College Dublin 

Isabella Graef, Stanford University

Edward Hubbard, Vanderbilt University

Franck Polleux, The Scripps Research Institute



Keynote lectures

Gyorgy Buzsaki, Rutgers University
- brain oscillations and cognitive functions

Carla Shatz, Stanford University,
- activity-dependent mechanisms of neural development

Chris Walsh, Harvard Medical School
- genetics of cortical development and cortical malformations


Plenary speakers

Rosa Cossart, INSERM U901, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseilles
- neuronal network development and function

Ricardo Dolmetsch, Stanford University
- neuronal signaling pathways; molecular mechanisms in autism

Dan Geschwind, University of California, Los Angeles
- genetics and pathogenic mechanisms of autism; brain systems biology

Michael Gill, Trinity College Dublin
- genetics and pathogenic mechanisms of psychiatric disorders

Anirvan Ghosh, University of California, San Diego
- molecular mechanisms of neuronal connectivity

Melissa Hines, University of Cambridge
- sexual differentiation of the nervous system

Josh Huang, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories
- molecular mechanisms of synaptogenesis

Heidi Johansen-Berg, University of Oxford
- diffusion-weighted tractography in the human brain

Mark Johnson, Birkbeck College, University of London
- cognitive development, neuroconstructivism

Maria Karayiorgou, Columbia University
- genetics and pathogenic mechanisms of schizophrenia

Isabelle Mansuy, University of Zurich
- epigenetic mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and dysfunction

Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, University of Heidelberg
- functional and structural neuroimaging in psychiatric disorders

Bita Moghaddam, University of Pittsburgh
- network development and mechanisms of psychiatric dysfunction

Tomas Paus, University of Nottingham
- maturation of cortical connectivity in adolescence

Linda Richards, Queensland Brain Institute
- axon guidance, cortical connectivity

Akira Sawa, Johns Hopkins University
- molecular and cellular functions of psychiatric risk genes

Bradley Schlaggar, Washington University, St. Louis
- functional connectivity networks

Klaas Stephan, University of Zurich
- computational modeling of brain connectivity

Pierre Vanderhaeghen, University of Brussels
- molecular mechanisms of cortical development

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