□ The National Institute for Mathematical Science (President Jeong Han Kim) is hosting an International conference entitled ‘Human Connectome (connectivity map of cranial nerve): Views from MRI and Microscope’ from March 28 to 31 in Seoul (Ewha Womans University). This is achieved through the thematic program of open research project in the area of brain science.
□ This year’s conference is sponsored by the Korea Research Council of Fundamental Science and Technology (chairman Dong Pil Min) and was jointly organized by Jeong Han Kim of the Graph Theory, also a global expert in the field of mathematics and brain science; professor Dae Shik Kim (KAIST), technician of high-resolution MRI; and professor Sebastian Seung (MIT), in the field of computational neuroscience. In addition, Karl Friston (WTCN), Arthur Toga (UCLA), Jeff Lichtman (Harvard University), Winfried Denk (Max Planck Institute for Medical Research), David van Essen (Washington University in St. Louis), and 24 other globally renowned scholars will participate to present their recent research and discussion on human connectome as well as to give a lecture for the domestic researchers.
□ What is most interesting about this conference is that all the world’s top brain scientists who each have expressed their own assertions with respect to connectome research will be gathered in one arena for the first time. Connectome research is primarily divided into two research groups: one group who approach connectivity of brain area from the macro perspective using MRI; and the other group who try to understand cell-level micro connectivity using optical or electron microscope. Through this conference, the researchers who have different standpoints will conduct a live discussion. Academic circles from all over the globe will be give enormous attention to the result and the ripple effect this conference will have on the research hereafter.
□ In this event, the senior editor of the universal journal ‘Science’ will participate and perform an in-depth reporting of the conference, as well as conduct an interview regarding Korea’s science & technology policy and research status with Dong Pil Min, chairman of Korea Research Council of Fundamental Science and Technology, and the organizer Jeong Han Kim. Moreover, through this conference, NIH (National Institutes of Health)’s international co-operation chief will look into Korea’s current research status in the field of brain science, as well as to ascertain whether NIH will collaborate and support this field. On this note, this conference will be an opportunity for Korea to show the world the status of scientific technology in Korea, and at the same time to elevate the level of domestic research in the field of brain science.
□ Jeong Han Kim is currently performing a research on brain function analysis which applies mathematical analysis and modeling technique. This is through the planning project of NAP (National Agenda Project) entitled ‘Mathematical decoding of brain function’ Through this research, he aims to investigate the cause of brain disorder and to develop diagnosis, and ultimately develop artificial neural network close to the level of human data processing. Furthermore, through this conference, he plans to introduce to this country what has recently been the most active research all over the world, namely, human brain function and brain disorder research and more specifically, connectome’s most recent research result and trends.
Jeong Han Kim added “Through this conference, I hope to promote the vitalization of domestic brain science research, and at the same time show the world how mathematics can be in utilized in the research of brain science. Along with the research of the human connectome, research that analyzes connectome in relation to the brain function is very important. By analyzing the connectome with the Graph Theory as the foothold, you can extract information regarding which part of the brain is crucial to the brain function, and in what kind of system the many areas of the brain is participating in the brain function.
※ What is Connectome?
-Like a circuit diagram that shows the connectivity of electron devices of electronic goods, connectome is by and large the whole data of connectivity of each brain parts such as nerves cells or assembly of nerve cells that make up the brain. Connectome is being researched by using optical microscope, electron microscope, brain MRI etc. and this becomes a useful research data for brain disorder that comes from beyond brain function, brain’s development process and brain connectivity.