Ford Distinguished Lecture
Thursday, March 6th, 2014
4:30 p.m. Wolstein Auditorium
Case Western Reserve University
Featuring David C. Van Essen, PhD
Alumni Endowed Professor of Neurobiology, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Washington University School of Medicine
The Human Connectome Project: Progress and Prospects
About the Speaker
David C. Van Essen is Alumni Endowed Professor in the Anatomy and Neurobiology Department at Washington University in St. Louis. Along with Kamil Ugurbil, he is principal investigator of the Human Connectome Project, a $30 million NIH grant to map brain circuitry in a large population of healthy adults using cutting-edge neuroimaging methods. Van Essen’s physiological and anatomical studies of macaque visual cortex provide many insights into functional specialization within this distributed hierarchical system. He has pioneered the use of surface-based atlases for visualizing and analyzing cortical structure, function, development, and connectivity and for making comparisons across studies and across species. His tension-based theory of morphogenesis accounts for how and why the cortex gets its folds. His studies of human cerebral cortex provide insights regarding normal variability, abnormalities in specific diseases and patterns of cortical development.
He has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuroscience, founding chair of the OHBM, and president of the Society for Neuroscience. He is a fellow of the AAAS and has received the Raven Lifetime Achievement Award from the St. Louis Academy of Sciences and the Krieg Cortical Discoverer Award from the Cajal Club.