Copying Brain

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Event details

Date and time 12.10.2020 12:1513:00  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Dr. Donhee Ham,
Harvard University
Category Conferences - Seminars

Institute of Microengineering - Distinguished Lecture

Campus Lausanne BM 5202 (live)
Campus Microcity MC B0 302 (video)
Zoom Live Stream: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/934241343

Abstract: Massively parallel, intracellular recording of a large number of mammalian neurons across a network has been a great technological pursuit in neurobiology, but it has not been achieved until our recent breakthrough [1]. For example, the intracellular recording by the patch clamp revolutionized neurobiology with its unparalleled sensitivity that can measure down to subthreshold synaptic activities, but it is too bulky to scale into a dense array, and only ~10 parallel patch recordings have so far been possible. For another example, the microelectrode array (MEA) can record from many more neurons, but this extracellular technique has too low a sensitivity to tap into synaptic events. In this talk, I will share the recent breakthrough of ours [1], a CMOS nanoelectrode array that massively parallelizes the intracellular recording from thousands of connected mammalian neurons. I will also explore the applications of this unprecedented tool in fundamental and applied neurobiology, in particular, functional connectome mapping, high-throughput drug screening for neurological disorder, and copying biological neuronal networks as a possible new synthesis of machine intelligence.

[1] J. Abbott et al, “A nanoelectrode array for obtaining intracellular recordings from thousands of connected neurons,”  Nature Biomed. Eng., doi: 10.1038/s41551-019-0455-7 (2019)

Bio: Donhee Ham is Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and EE at Harvard and Samsung Fellow. He earned a BS in physics from Seoul National University. Following a military service, he went to Caltech for graduate training, where he worked in LIGO under Prof. Barry Barish in physics, and later obtained a PhD in EE winning the Wilts Prize for the best EE thesis. His experiences/recognitions include IBM T. J. Watson Research, distinguished visiting professorship at Seoul National University, IEEE conference committees (e.g., ISSCC), distinguished lecturer for IEEE SSC Society, associate editor for IEEE TBioCAS, IBM faculty fellowship, and MIT TR35. His intellectual focus includes neuro-electronic interface, neuromorphic processor, low-dimensional and quantum devices, NMR technology, and integrated circuits.


Note: The Seminar Series is eligible for ECTS credits in the EDMI doctoral program

Note: After the lecture, there will be time for discussion and interaction with the distinguished speaker, sandwich lunch and refreshments sponsored by the Institute of Microengineering will be provided for attendees in front of the lecture hall (BM 5104, ca. 13h15)

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free

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