RIKEN CBS Summer Program Examines Architecture of the Brain



Miguel Skirzewski, BrainsCAN Research Associate

From July 4-8, early-career researchers from around the world gathered virtually for RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS)’s Summer Program. Miguel Skirzewski, Research Associate in BrainsCAN’s Rodent Cognition Research & Innovation Core, represented Western at the esteemed lecture course.

Centered on the topic, Architectures of the Brain, the virtual, five-day program covered aspects in neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and psychological and psychiatric disorders.

“The lectures brought experts in cell biology, neurodevelopmental, neurodegeneration, ex vivo and in vivo circuit systems,” said Skirzewski, whose research is working to understand the circuitry underlying abnormal cognitive-related behaviors relevant to psychiatric disorders. “The lecturers were all world-class quality, and the event overall was very rewarding.”

The prestigious, highly selective program is aimed to accelerate the professional development of early-career neuroscientists and emerging researchers as they enter the international neuroscience community. Since 1999, more than 1,000 students have participated in the program.

The 2022 theme explored how technological advances reveal the organization and logic of the architectures that make the nervous system. It also examined how intersection and information flow between these architectural hierarchies creates brain function. Lecturers included Chris Walsh from Harvard University, Francesca Bartolini from Columbia University, and Song-Hai Shi from Tsinghua University.

“Several of the lectures were about various topics away from my area of expertise,” said Skirzewski. “However, the speakers were able to deliver complex concepts to a heterogeneous audience and made me aware that the study of the brain function needs to constantly consider a multidisciplinary approach. This was a big ‘wow’ factor for my own career development.”

The annual RIKEN CBS Summer Program introduces early-career scientists to cutting-edge neuroscience research taking place around the world. Registration for the 2023 RIKEN CBS Summer Program opens in early 2023. With BrainsCAN’s partnership with RIKEN CBS, BrainsCAN-aligned neuroscientists are encouraged to contact us to learn how to participate in this important program.

For more information about RIKEN CBS’ Summer Program, please visit: https://cbs.riken.jp/en/summer/