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2016 Guests

Eva Jablonka (The Cohn Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Telaviv University, Israel)
Eva Jablonka has a M.Sc. in Microbiology from Ben-Gurion University, Israel and a Ph.D in Genetics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Her post-Doctoral studies were in the Philosophy of Science, and in Developmental Genetics. She is a professor in the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel-Aviv and a member of the Sagol School for Brain Research. Her main interest is the understanding of evolution, especially evolution that is driven by non-genetic hereditary variations, and the evolution of nervous systems and consciousness. She has published many papers and co-authored several books on these topics.

David Price (Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh, UK)
I studied Medicine at Edinburgh University and did a PhD at Oxford University on the developmental plasticity of the visual system. I moved to the University of California at Berkeley to do a postdoctoral fellowship on development of invertebrates. I was appointed to Edinburgh University as a Lecturer and promoted to Professor in 2003. I have written two books, one on cortical development (Mechanisms of Cortical Development, with David Willshaw, a theoretician) and one called Building Brains: An Introduction to Neural Development with three colleagues with whom I teach at Edinburgh (published by Wiley in 2011). 

Kevin Warwick (Coventry University, UK)
Kevin Warwick is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at Coventry University, England. His main research areas are artificial intelligence, biomedical systems, robotics and cyborgs. Due to his research as a self-experimenter he is frequently referred to as the world’s first Cyborg. Kevin was born in Coventry, UK and left school to join British Telecom. He took his first degree at Aston University, followed by a PhD and research post at Imperial College London. He held positions at Oxford, Newcastle, Warwick and Reading Universities before joining Coventry. Kevin is a Chartered Engineer who has published over 600 research papers. His experiments into implant technology led to him being featured as the cover story on the US magazine, ‘Wired’. He achieved the world’s first direct electronic communication between two human nervous systems, the basis for thought communication. Another project extended human sensory input to include ultrasonics. He also linked his nervous system with the internet in order to control a robot hand directly from his neural signals, across the Atlantic Ocean. He has been awarded higher doctorates (DSc) by Imperial College and the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague. Kevin has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by 8 UK Universities and one from Saints Cyril & Methodius University, Skopje. He received The IEE Senior Achievement Medal, the IET Mountbatten Medal and the Ellison-Cliffe Medal from the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2000 Kevin presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Giovanna Mallucci (Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, UK)
Giovanna Mallucci is Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital, specialising in Dementia. Her undergraduate degrees were in Physiological Sciences and Medicine from the University of Oxford, with clinical training at University College, London. She obtained her PhD from London University in Neurogenetics, for which she generated the first adult-onset mouse model of prion protein knockout that paved the way to her discoveries about reversibility of early neurodegeneration and underlying mechanisms.  Since her PhD she has combined clinical work and basic research and led groups in the MRC Prion Unit (2001-2008) and the MRC Toxicology Unit (2008-present) before moving to Cambridge.  Her lab is pioneering interventions targeting common pathways for treatment of dementia.   She has received numerous national and international awards for her work, including a SciAm50 award for leadership in research as one of the top 50 scientific innovators worldwide.  She is an ERC Consolidator Fellow.

Daniel S. Margulies (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany)
Daniel Margulies leads the Neuroanatomy & Connectivity Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, which investigates cortical organization by mapping patterns of connectivity using a variety of noninvasive methods. He previously worked at NYU and received his doctoral degree from Humboldt University, for which he won the Otto Hahn Medal from the Max Planck Society. Margulies has over 70 publications on a range of topics related to applications of resting-state fMRI, including human cortical organization, cross-species comparative anatomy, and individual differences with respect to behavior and development.

Christian Lüscher (Department of Basic Neurosciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Christian Lüscher is a professor of Neuroscience at the University of Geneva and an attending in Neurology at the University Hospital of Geneva. 
He obtained his medical degree from the Universities of Lausanne and Berne. After a residency in Neurology he spent three years at UC San Francisco to study synaptic plasticity. With a career development award from the Swiss National Science Foundation he established his lab at the University of Geneva in 1999 and became full professor in 2009. 
The Lüscher lab studies the synaptic mechanisms that underlie the behavioural adaptations in drug addiction. Over the last 15 years he has characterised several forms of “drug-evoked synaptic plasticity” and established links of causalities with various components in addiction models. The lab was the first to show that normalising synaptic transmission in vivo with optogenetic approaches can erase pathological behaviour. The group is currently working towards translational protocols to emulate optogenetic protocols with methods of neuromodulation approved for human use such as deep brain stimulation. 
Christian Lüscher has received several awards, including an ERC advanced grant, the Bing Prize and the Cloëtta Prize.