Katrin Amunts

“To my mind diversity and the inclusion of many different perspectives is fundamentally important, especially in a project like the HBP. We have to improve in its Gender Balance, just as we need to have a good balance of young people and older people, people from different cultures and disciplines. As Scientific Research Director I am glad that we are actively working on this issue.”

In 2016 Katrin Amunts became Chair of the HBP Science and Infrastructure Board (SIB) and Scientific Research Director. In addition, she is leading Subproject 2 Human Brain Organization.

Katrin Amunts graduated in 1987 in medicine and biophysics. She did her PhD in medicine and her postdoctoral work in the Cécile and Otto Vogt Institute for Brain Research at Düsseldorf University, Germany. In 1999, she set up a new research unit for Brain Mapping in the Research Centre Jülich. In 2004, she became a Professor for Structural-Functional Brain Mapping, and in 2008 full Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at RWTH Aachen University. Since 2013, she is Professor for Brain Research and director of the C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf and director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich. Her research interest is to develop a three-dimensional atlas of the human brain that integrates the different levels of brain organisation across the scales as tool to better understand human brain organisation.

Katrin Amunts is member and Vice-Chair of the German Ethics Council. She is member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) and the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. She also serves on the editorial board of Brain Structure and Function, is the speaker of the German Helmholtz Association programme Decoding the Human Brain. Since 2017 she is Co-Speaker of the newly established Max Planck School of Cognition.


Ziv Ben-Zion

Ziv Ben-Zion is a PhD researcher at Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University & Sagol Brain Institute, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Ziv graduated in Biology, Psychology & Neuroscience at 2015, Summa Cum Laude, at Tel-Aviv University. Ziv is currently in his 4th year in the Interdisciplinary Direct Ph.D. in Neuroscience program, under the supervision of Prof. Talma Hendler, investigating Neurocognitive Moderators of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Trajectories. Ziv takes part in HBP Medicine group (SP8), working on multiparametric novel classification of recent trauma survivors. Ziv also serve as an HBP Student Ambassador, representing the student community of SP8.


Conrado Bosman

University of Amsterdam - UvA / THE NETHERLANDS SP3 – Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience. Expert for neuronal mechanisms of multisensory integration.


Svenja Caspers

Svenja Caspers joined the HBP in 2018 during SGA2 as task leader within SP2. Svenja Caspers graduated in Medicine and Business Studies in 2007 as well as in Economics in 2008. She finished her MD thesis on microstructural architecture of the human parietal cortex in 2008 and worked as a postdoc in the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-2) of the Research Centre Jülich, Germany. In 2012, she received her PhD in Economics from the University of Cologne (Germany) and became team leader of the 1000BRAINS cohort study at the INM-1 of the Research Centre Jülich. She became Associate Professor for Connectivity in the Human Brain in 2015 at Düsseldorf University (Germany) and Connectivity working group leader at INM-1 of the Research Centre Jülich. Since 2018, she is full professor for Anatomy and Director of the Institute for Anatomy I at Düsseldorf University. Her research focuses on the combination of postmortem microscopic analyses with in-vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for investigating structure-function-connectivity relationships in higher-order association cortices in the human brain. She is extensively working with large population-based cohort studies, e.g. the German National Cohort, using high-throughput processing pipelines on high-performance computing to particularly study environmental and genetic influences in lifespan trajectories of aging.


Francesca I. Cavallaro

Francesca I. Cavallaro, PhD, recently joined the Chair of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Real-time Systems, TUM, to work as research uptake coordinator. She has expertise in the fields of rehabilitation robotics, user research, research ethics and UX.

Javier DeFelipe

Javier DeFelipe is a research professor at the Instituto Cajal (CSIC) and Director of the Laboratorio Cajal de Circuitos Corticales at UPM. His particular expertise lies in the correlation of electron microscopy data with the synaptic connectivity of neurons previously identified using functional markers, or by intracellular labelling. Another of his principal interest is the analysis of alterations of cortical circuits in epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease and in the study of the history of cortical organization and function. Furthermore, his laboratory is involved in the development of a variety of software tools to classify neuronal cell types and to examine the anatomical design of brain circuits.

Andrew Davison

Andrew Davison is a senior research scientist at CNRS, France. He is involved as a Work Package and/or Task Leader in Subproject 5, 6 and 9 and can thus contribute a variety of perspectives. From different subprojects, but also from different countries: he completed his PhD in the UK, did his Postdoc in the US and has now been living in France for 14 years.


Marta Domínguez Álvaro

Current position: PhD Student in SP1

Affiliation: Politécnica University of Madrid (UPM)
Background: BSc Biology. MSc and Ph.D. Neuroscience

Michele Farisco

Michele Farisco is part of CRB's neuroethics research team. He was recently appointed Associate Professor of Moral Philosophy in Italy. He holds a degree in Philosophy from University of Naples "L'Orientale" in 2003, a PhD in "Ethics and Anthropology. History and Foundation" from University of Lecce in 2008 and a Master degree in Biolaw from the University of Rome "Lumsa" in 2009. He spent time on an exchange grant from the European Neuroscience and Society Network within the European Science Foundation joining the Coma Science Group of the University of Liège (Belgium). He is the head of the "Science and society" research unit of Biogem Genetic Research Centre in Ariano Irpino (Italy). He is the author of three books and several articles about posthuman philosophy and philosophical, ethical and legal implications (ELSI) of genetics and neuroscience. Michele Farisco is currently working on his second PhD about the neuroscience of disorders of consciousness (from laboratory to clinics). He will study the ethical and legal issues emerging from neuroscientific investigation of Disorders of Consciousness and related technological applications. The project is a part of the European Union flagship Human Brain Project.


Olivia Gosseries

Dr. Olivia Gosseries is a neuropsychologist and post-doctoral researcher at the GIGA Consciousness. She studies pathological, physiological and pharmacological modifications of consciousness using behavioural assessments and imaging technologies. Her early work focused on diagnosis and prognosis in patients with disorders of consciousness recovering from coma. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) studying sleep and working memory.  To study human consciousness more globally, she now also investigates anesthesia, coma memory, lucid dream, meditation, hypnosis, and cognitive trance. She is Associate Editor for Clinical Neurophysiology and Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience journals. She co-edited the second edition of the book ‘Neurology of Consciousness’ (Elsevier, 2015), She has more than 100 publications in international peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Annals of Neurology and Brain, and numerous invited talks at international conferences.
Her aim is to continue improving the care of patients who recover from coma, contribute to understanding human consciousness, as well as promoting education and public awareness of this fascinating clinical and research topic.


Karin Grasenick

Karin Grasenick (convelop cooperative knowledge design gmbh, www.convelop.at)
Karin graduated in Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering. Her thesis on innovative non-invasive techniques to measure stroke volume led to a growing interest in inter- and transdisciplinary research, diversity in research content and equal opportunities in science. She lectures, coaches and supports teams, universities and international projects in gender mainstreaming, diversity and change management. In HBP, she actively supports the recognition of diversity as a success factor for research and innovation. Together with her team she provides tools and techniques for researchers accordingly.


Mira Marcus-Kalish

Deputy SP8 Leader Tel Aviv University


Björn Kindler

Dr. Björn Kindler
HBP Neuromorphic Computing SP Admin Electronic Vision(s)

Francesco Pavone

Francesco Saverio Pavone is directing a research group working in the field of biophotonics on single molecule biophysics, microscopy imaging-spectroscopy techniques, biomedical imaging, laser manipulation of bio-samples. In particular, he is developing new microscopy techniques for high resolution and high sensitivity imaging, and for laser manipulation purposes. These techniques have been applied both for single molecule biophysics, single cell imaging and optical manipulation. Tissue imaging is another research area developed, where non-linear optical techniques have been applied for skin and neural tissue imaging also in-vivo. Pavone is authors of many international papers and editor of international books. He has more than 100 invited talk and he is editors of international journals. He coordinates several European projects and he has organized several international congresses; he is also director of the European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy in Florence, winner of a European Research Council Advanced Grant.


Theresa Rass

Theresa Rass joined the HBP in 2016, when she started working for the HBP Education Programme to support the organisation of student community building events. As leader of the „Targeted Engagement and Knowledge Transfer“ task, she is responsible for outreach and dissemination of the HBP Education Programme as well as co-organisation and on-site support of HBP outreach activities. Theresa studied German Philology and English & American Studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.


Pilar F. Romero

Pilar F. Romero is the Manager of SP1 working at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) as Scientific Project Manager at Laboratorio Cajal de Circuitos Corticales (CCCL). After completing her PhD in Biology, she moved into science management collaborating on the preparation and running of research projects at national, European and international levels. She is in charge of the RTD Management Unit at CCCL and her main responsibilities include scientific project and data management as well as the coordination of new proposals and actions in order to and optimize the research applications and funding activities.

Birgit Schaffhauser

Hands on scientific manager with a PhD in Biology and broad international experience in coordinating new scientific initiatives / projects, from set up stage to implementation.

  • About 10 years of experience in international scientific project management and administration within leading European academic institutions and a start-up
  • Financial planning, budget management, controlling and reporting of scientific projects experience in leadership and personnel management
  • Familiarity with grant management and EU-funded research projects (ERC, FP7)
  • Experience in leading new projects, such as establishing new scientific centres like Munich Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics (MIAPP at the Excellence Cluster Universe, Munich, D), the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) or also national and international relocation and new set up of research laboratories


Arleen Salles

Arleen Salles, PhD. M.A. is a Senior Researcher in the Neuroethics and Philosophy Group at the Centre for Research and Bioethics (CRB) of Uppsala University, and a task leader and research collaborator in the Ethics and Society subproject (SP12) of the Human Brain Project. She is  also  board member of the International Neuroethics Society and serves as a member of the International Brain Initiative’s Neuroethics Workgroup. Salles is Director of the Neuroethics Program of Centro de Investigaciones Filosoficas in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Sacha van Albada

Sacha van Albada obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from University College Utrecht, followed by a Master's in Theoretical Physics from Utrecht University, and went on to do a PhD at the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, working on mean-field brain models. Subsequently, she did a postdoc on tinnitus at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-7) at Research Center Jülich, Germany, and a postdoc with strong involvement in the European BrainScaleS project at the INM-6 (Computational and Systems Neuroscience). Still at the INM-6 in Jülich, she currently leads the group "Theoretical Neuroanatomy". In the HBP, she leads the task "Multi-area multi-layer spiking cortical models" and is implementation leader for CDP4 (visuomotor integration). She combines anatomical and physiological data from a wide range of sources to build neural network models of mammalian cerebral cortex. The aim is to understand relationships between cortical structure and dynamics, and to provide models that serve as platforms for further refinement and for incorporating cortical function. Over the past years, her group has developed a layered spiking model of all vision-related areas in one hemisphere of macaque cortex with the full density of neurons and synapses, which accounts for microscopic and macroscopic aspects of resting-state dynamics.


Katrien Van Look

Katrien Van Look is a Subproject Manager of the Human Brain Project’s Brain Simulation Platform (Subproject 6). Katrien has a background in the biological sciences and a PhD in environmental toxicology. After 10 years of research, she left the laboratory bench and started to work at Cancer Research UK in Cambridge as a Scientific Communications Officer in October 2007. Her role there combined scientific communications, event organisation, public engagement and project management. From September 2010, Katrien coordinated the strategic research initiative in cancer (CRUK Cambridge Centre) for the University of Cambridge. The CRUK Cambridge Centre is a collaboration of around 140 principal investigators in Cambridge working in cancer from different disciplines, different institutions and from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Having grown up in Switzerland, Katrien then decided it was time to return and started at the Blue Brain Project at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in April 2014 in her role as SP6 Manager. Katrien is very happy to be a member of the Gender Advisory Committee. Since the age of 16, she has been involved in various voluntary roles regarding student and staff representation and welfare in the workplace and in the community, so hopes to contribute actively to the Committee.


Roman Volchenkov

Human Brain Project High Level Support Team
Roman Volchenkov graduated in Medicine in 2006 and obtained a PhD in Immunology (autoimmune diseases) in 2013. Having worked in academia and private industry Roman switched to research administration in 2017 and is currently responsible for management of HBP Joint Platform High Level Support Team and quality assurance of research projects (including ethics) at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo.


Abigail Morrison

Abigail Morrison is the group leader of “Computation in Neural Circuits” at INM-6/IAS-6, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, the leader of the “Simulation Laboratory Neuroscience” at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre and a professor at the Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany since 2012. In the HBP she co-leads the work package 7.3. She holds a master’s degree in artificial intelligence and received her PhD in computational neuroscience in 2006 from the University of Freiburg, Germany. Between 2006 and 2009 she was a scientific researcher at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Wako-Shi, Japan; she subsequently held a junior professorship at the University of Freiburg from 2009 to 2012, as well as a group leadership at the Bernstein Center Freiburg. Her research interests include learning, representation and computation in spiking neural networks, dynamics and computation in neurodegenerative diseases, and high-performance simulation technology.


Benjamin Weyers

before becoming Prof. at the University Trier, Benjamin Weyers worked at the Virtuelle Realität und Immersive Visualisierung IT Center, http://www.vr.rwth-aachen.de/. He is coordinating and co-leading of a work package with 5 partners from 3 countries and lead of two tasks on visual analysis in the FET flagship project "The Human Brain Project". Scientific work on interactive systems, virtual reality, information and scientific visualization as well as immersive visual analysis.


Laura Saxer

Laura Saxer joined the HBP Education Programme as a project manager in March 2019. Laura is working mainly on HBP student community building, organizing Student Conferences and other educational events. Laura is also organizing and supporting HBP Infrastructure training events.