UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

Architect of President Obama's BRAIN initiative To Speak At UCSB

June 21, 2013

Ralph Greenspan <span class="photoCredit">Credit: R.J. Greenspan, UCSD</span>
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Ralph Greenspan
Credit: R.J. Greenspan, UCSD
(Santa Barbara, California) –– Ralph Greenspan, one of the original architects of a visionary proposal that eventually led to the national BRAIN Initiative launched by President Obama in April, comes to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, June 27, to address the ways in which the challenges of this initiative can be met by both UCSB and UC San Diego, where he is associate director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind.

Greenspan will speak at 1 p.m. at Rathmann Auditorium, 1001 Life Sciences Building, at UCSB. His lecture, "From BAM TO B.R.A.I.N.: What Is it All About?", is free and open to the public. His appearance is part of the UCSB Distinguished Lecturer Series.

The National Institutes of Health Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is part of a recent presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will fill major gaps in current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.

On May 26, UCSD established the Center for Brain Activity Mapping (CBAM) in response to the president's challenge. Greenspan is its founding director. The center will focus on developing the new technologies needed for brain mapping at the cellular level with a timescale of a millisecond. Allowing scientists to better understand brain disorders such as traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer's disease could lead to new treatments. Greenspan will discuss how UCSB might implement a similar center, building on the brain research already conducted on campus.

The UCSB Distinguished Lecturer Series hosted by the Neuroscience Research Institute is made possible by a generous gift from John Gurley.

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