The BioDynaMo Project

Powerful Tool For Understanding Brain Development

As you read this sentence, millions of neurons in your brain are frantically whispering to each other, resulting in communicating signals in unique ways. Understanding how this transmission occurs is crucial to understanding human brain development. Can modern neuroscience go beyond traditional exploration?

I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Roman Bauer, one of the collaborators on the The BioDynaMo Modeller was very enthusiastic when talking about computer simulations and neuroscience.
Roman Bauer feels that, in order to better understand the dynamics of the human brain we need a platform that encourages a community of users that exchange information. It must incorporate interaction, allow modifications and be extendable where users can easily adapt. Such an approach can be very demanding and his research involves modern computing approaches and IT-related collaboration.
ICT-based research
Along with Roman, working on BioDynaMo Modeller are a consortium of CERN Openlab, Newcastle University, Innopolis University, Kazan Federal University and Intel. CERN Openlab sponsored the Human Development Project to develop the Biology Dynamic Modeller, also known as BioDynaMo. Roman had presented the Human Brain Development in the foundation’s first global Collision Event 69192.7 that took place in Geneva. These Collisions are when scientists and entrepreneur’s join together to co-create realistic solutions for issues effecting humanity.

This will allow people from different backgrounds to learn from one another and exchange information in an open-source user-friendly community on human brain development. A collaborative ICT-based research network to allow global advancement in the field of neuroscience. Roman and his collaborators are preparing to reveal in 2017 the first version of scale software simulation.
Meet Roman Bauer

Roman Bauer is an MRC Skills Development Fellow at Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England with a research focus on neural development. Roman received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Computational Science and Engineering from ETH Zurich, and a Doctoral Degree on neuronal self-organization.

With a deep desire to want to understand how the human brain develops and configures itself, and why this process sometimes goes wrong he uses computer simulations.

Touching upon the fields of biology, mathematics, physics and computer science to study the development of the human brain. After writing his Matera Examination through the study of the mind-body problem his interest strengthened and gave rise to questions such as whether we might have a soul and what the nature of our personality is. He was on a quest to ask these fundamental questions which created the fuel to start the journey to dig deeper.

He strove to understand not only the body, but the physical world in all its glory. Roman strongly believed that he could create a collaboration that could unlock the most hidden secrets of nature. He knew how brain activities can account for human behaviour ranging from blinking an eye to memorizing a book. His efforts resulted in a project—one that goes far beyond the observable.

Expanding our Understanding

Parts of the brain that were off limits will allow scientists to look inside the brain and monitor specific parts. The ability to see beneath the surface of the brain offers new, powerful ways to study brain function. It will help understand brain disease and disorders. Allowing targeted treatment of Alzheimer and cancer research as it will enable users to predict progression.

One of the first pictures of neuronal growth using BioDynaMO, 
showing two types of neurons.
The aim is to share knowledge, data and build large scale models and explore areas that no one even knew were there and expand our understanding of the most complicated biological structures.

Computers play a significant role in the research of neurological diseases so using computers with biological sciences to solve complex tasks will indeed increase acceleration in this field.

For more information, visit www. Or, or watch Roman's recent presentation at the Neuroinformatics Conference on You Tube.

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Maria Simonetti | December 2016

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