The Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour

Wayne Gillam

This month, the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) hosted not one, but two Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour talks. The first was held on October 6th, featuring Dr. Krishna Shenoy, and the second was held on Oct 11th, featuring Dr. Mehrdad Jazayeri. Thanks to generous support from The Kavli Foundation, the CSNE has been hosting these coffee-hour talks regularly since 2013, with the aim of bringing researchers from different backgrounds and areas of expertise together to share their work and enhance interdisciplinary collaborations.

The talks are also free and open to the public, so it’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in neural engineering to learn more about the latest advances in the field from world-class experts, as well as mix and mingle with CSNE researchers and students. Audience members work and study in a number of different fields, such as biology, computer science, electrical engineering, neurosurgery, philosophy, physiology, bioengineering, rehabilitation medicine, mechanical engineering, and of course, neural engineering.

“The purpose of the Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour Series is to get people from diverse disciplines talking to each other, to energize new ideas specifically related to the BRAIN initiative,” said Dr. Eric Chudler, CSNE executive and education director. “The idea is to provide a forum for people to hear from different experts in the field and perhaps synergize new ideas into new grant applications toward the BRAIN initiative.”

After each talk there is a question and answer session, followed by refreshments and informal conversations where new ideas can bubble up freely.

When the series was founded in 2013, its goals were defined as promoting further grants in the space of neuroscience and the BRAIN initiative, promoting renewal of existing grants, and amplifying neuroscience advances through collaborative events. In addition to providing an easily accessible forum to accomplish these goals, the series is known for the quality of its speakers.

“We’re bringing in world experts, the best and the most up-to-date science to the university community, and we’re exposing faculty and students and cutting-edge research that’s not going on at the UW or our partner institutions,” said Chudler. “Exposure to this cutting-edge research could lead to new ideas and questions that could be asked by our attendees. Through the series, we can bring in these world experts and find out what’s happening outside the walls of our universities.”

For a list of past speakers, visit the Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour series webpage, and some of the past talks can be viewed on our YouTube channel. To learn about upcoming talks, or for more information about the series, contact Dr. Eric Chudler.