May 9, 2018

Simon Hippenmeyer comments on technology (r)evolution in neuroscience

Neuron celebrates 30th anniversary and features IST Austria Professor as one of six neuroscientists

Neuron features IST Austria Professor Simon Hippenmeyer as one of six neuroscientists who share their perspectives on the evolution of neuroscience research and the future prospects for the field. With neuroscience embracing technology at multiple scales to understand the brain, he feels confident that the contemporary explosion of new technology will allow deciphering the assembly and function of neural circuitry at a stunning pace. “Today, we experience a technical revolution that enables us to decode the physiological and genetic properties of all cell types in the brain at unprecedented single-cell resolution. The wealth of global data-gathering initiatives offers exciting opportunities at the interface of biology and computer science. These efforts, in combination with blue-sky research by individual investigators who are enabled to pursue curiosity-driven basic research, hold an enormous potential for breakthrough discovery,” states the neuroscientist.

Simon Hippenmeyer studied molecular biology at the University of Basel and received his PhD in 2004. After spending two years as a postdoc at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, he moved to Stanford University, where he worked in the group of Liqun Luo. He joined IST Austria as principal investigator in 2012 and is the recipient of a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, HFSP Grant and ERC Consolidator Grant. Hippenmeyer advanced the MADM (Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers) technique to dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for neuronal circuit assembly in the brain. Using this cutting-edge method, he is able to analyze the cortex at single-cell resolution and visualize individual neurons. His work pushes the boundaries of our understanding of essential processes in brain development.

Established in 1988, Neuron is one of the most influential and relied upon journals in the field of neuroscience. With its editors embracing interdisciplinary strategies that integrate biophysical, cellular, developmental, and molecular approaches with a systems approach to sensory, motor, and higher-order cognitive functions, Neuron serves as one of the premier intellectual forums of the entire neuroscience community. In 2018, Neuron is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a collection of special features that reflect on how far neuroscience has come and where it is going.