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Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine

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Obituary Karl Zilles

On April 26, 2020 our dear friend and highly esteemed colleague, Professor Emeritus Karl Zilles, passed away after a long and serious illness. Karl Zilles was director of the Institute of Medicine for many years, later of the Institute of Neurosciences and Biophysics and finally of the Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine at Forschungszentrum Jülich. For many years, he headed the C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and he was the second head of the institute after the two eponyms, whose great tradition he revived.Read the whole obituary

Research Topics

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Connectivity & Network Activity

Neuronal activity, brain function and finally behavior emerge from the multi-scale organization of the human connectome. Correspondingly, the activity dynamics is governed by the interaction of multiple scales. Bridging the scales and relating anatomical and activity data is the major challenge addressed using electron microscopy, 3D polarized light imaging (3D-PLI), electrophysiological and MRI measurements, in combination with modeling and simulation.

Human Brain Project

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(Dys-)Function & Plasticity

Functional imaging (PET, MRI, EEG & MEG) is used to characterize the neural networks underlying cerebral dysfunction and recovery thereof in patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric diseases. This approach is complemented by theoretical work to develop neurobiologically informed, hypothesis-driven novel therapeutic approaches.

Radiopharmaceutical production for clinical application

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Development, experimental validation and clinical implementation of novel brain imaging methods, and development of new radionuclides as well as radiotracers for the use in life science (medicine/biology) are in the focus of our activity. Hybrid MR-PET scanners provide unique insights into the structure and the mechanisms of the human brain.

New cyclotron for radionuclide development
Radiotracer development
PET Centre

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Theory, Modeling and Simulation

The steadily growing amounts of neuroscience data require new tools to abstract and integrate these data into multi-scale, multi-modal brain models. Simulation and visualization are needed for hypothesis-driven and explorative virtual investigations. Theory strives to explain the mechanisms underlying the observed phenomena.

Simulation Laboratory Neuroscience
Human Brain Project
SPM Anatomy Toolbox
NEST Simulator
Virtual Reality, RWTH Aachen University