Academic Partnerships

Collaboration in brain research between the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: the BLUE BRAIN PROJECT

Prof. Henry Markram (Director of the Blue Brain Project, EPFL) and Prof. Idan Segev (Head, Department of Neurobiology and ELSC member, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) have a long-standing fruitful collaboration, which has recently culminated in an impressive (82 authors) comprehensive paper in the prestigious journal Cell (October 2015).

In this work, their synergetic experimental and theoretical teams succeeded to build a digital reconstruction of a slice of rat somatosensory cortex. This provided the most complete simulation of a piece of a brain to date. Their detailed digital computer replica of a brain tissue has shed light on several previously unexplained experimental results. Computer simulations on the Lugano Super Computer are presently being performed to study the origin of several brain diseases, such as epileptic sizers, and to explore the spectrum of network states (e.g., in sleep).

This HU-EPFL collaboration paves the way to a new “simulation-based” clinical research of both the healthy and the diseased brain, and for understanding what makes each brain “individual”.


Strategic Partnership and Joint Seed Funding between the University of Geneva and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

On April 20th 2016, on the occasion of a conference organized in Geneva by the Swiss Friends of HUJ, the Rectors Prof. Asher Cohen (HUJ) and Prof. Yves Flückiger (UNIGE) signed an agreement for a Joint Seed Funding initiative between both universities. This will encourage and support professors to generate teaching and research collaboration in mutual fields of excellence, strengthening the Strategic Partnership established between both universities.

The Joint Seed Fund facilitates first steps towards collaboration between faculty members in both institutions, in all academic areas. It will give rise to larger projects, with funding from national and international funding agencies or public and private institutions investing in research. HUJ and UNIGE are striving together to raise resources towards a pooled budget dedicated to the Joint Seed Fund.

The Swiss Friends of HUJ along with UNIGE will launch this campaign as of October 2016. Events around this great new collaboration will take place in the next year; we look forward for your participation !