KU Leuven has joined forces with IMEC and VIB to set up a basic research centre, Neuroelectronics Research Flanders (NERF), to unravel the neuronal circuitry of the human brain.
With support from the Flemish Government, NERF will look into fundamental questions in neuroscience through collaborative, interdisciplinary research combining nanoelectronics with neurobiology. It intends to zoom in on the working of neurons at an unprecedented level of detail. In the long run, it is hoped this will generate new insights in the functional mapping of the brain, as well as research methodologies and technologies for medical applications, such as diagnostics and treatments for disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system.
NERF opens on 29 October on the IMEC campus. It will be organised around teams of leading researchers doing world-class basic research. By 2014, NERF aims to expand to a team of about 50 international researchers. The centre starts off with a €3 million research grant from the Flemish Government for the first three years, which will be boosted by the founders, IMEC, VIB and Leuven.
At the opening on 29 October, the founding partners will hold a neuroelectronics workshop to discuss the research roadmap of NERF with some 50 world experts in disciplines relevant to NERF’s objectives.