Read a recent Nature Spotlight article which highlights the Neurophotonics Centre and Summer School. The director of the Neurophotonics Centre, Yves De Koninck, is interviewed on the topic of large-scale national brain research projects, and explains the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to understand this complex organ:
To build and use those tools, researchers require a transdisciplinary mindset, says Yves De Koninck, director of the Neurophotonics Centre in Quebec, Canada. The centre brings together neuroscientists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians and engineers. They develop hardware (such as fibre-optic probes and microscopes), software to analyse and model brain data, and what De Koninck calls “wetware”, such as tools that allow researchers to control living cells using light. “Brain science has to do with everything, from understanding the fundamentals of cell function all the way to how society is built, so we really need people that are able to bridge between different disciplines,” De Koninck says.
De Koninck runs a transdisciplinary training programme at the Neurophotonics Centre. He is also part of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy, a collaboration of various Canadian brain-research groups. One emphasis, he says, is forming partnerships between institutions, disciplines and nations. “We can’t, in the field of neuroscience, understand the complexity of the brain by continuing each to work alone,” he says.
Read the full article in Nature 574, S49-S51 (2019): The search for secrets of the human brain, by Neil Savage