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Joshua Sanes, PhD

Joshua Sanes, PhD

What Is the BRAIN Initiative and What Will It Teach Us About Ourselves?


February 20, 2014, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Joshua Sanes, PhD

Paul J. Finnegan Family Director, Harvard Center for Brain Science, Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Member, NAS Institute of Medicine


Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, M106
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016

A revolution is brewing in neuroscience. We are on the threshold of understanding how the electrical and chemical activities of huge ensembles of nerve cells account for our thoughts, decisions, behaviors, perceptions, and emotions. Dr. Sanes will discuss the BRAIN Initiative, a public-private partnership aimed at developing the new technologies needed to speed progress. Once obtained, he believes, this knowledge will enable new approaches to neurological and psychiatric disorders. It will also affect our views of seemingly distant areas, including the law, economics, and ethics.

A public reception will precede this event in the VTC Cafe at 5 p.m.

About the Speaker:

Joshua Sanes, PhD, is the Paul J. Finnegan Family Director of the Harvard Center for Brain Science and the Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His laboratory is interested in how neural circuits are assembled in young animals and how they process information in adults. A particular focus is the identification and analysis of synaptic recognition molecules responsible for the amazing specificity of connections that underlies complex neural processing. The laboratory uses a combination of genetic, molecular, histological, and electrophysiological approaches to address these issues.

Dr. Sanes earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his doctorate in neurobiology from Harvard University. Following postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco, he joined the faculty of Washington University, where he served on the faculty for more than 20 years and held an endowed chair of neurobiology. He returned to Harvard University in 2004 as a professor of molecular and cellular biology and founding director of the Center for Brain Science.

Additional Details

This is a free event. The host is Michael Friedlander, PhD. For more information, please call 540-526-2013, or send an e-mail.

Map and Parking

This map shows where the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute is located in Roanoke, VA at 2 Riverside Circle.

Parking is available in the parking garage across the street.

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