Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind Lecture Series: Network neuroscience in psychiatry – linking genes, molecules and brain imaging


Dr. Urs Braun presents, "Network neuroscience in psychiatry – linking genes, molecules and brain imaging".

Registration via Eventbrite.

Livestreaming via Vimeo

Speaker: Urs Braun, Ph.D.

Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Abstract: Network neuroscience approaches have greatly contributed to establishing the view of mental disorders as dysfunctions of distributed circuits and networks, providing a biologically meaningful way of mapping large-scale abnormalities in the architecture of brain networks. However, traditional network approaches in brain imaging are rather descriptive, often failing to identify pathophysiological mechanisms that link system-level phenomena to the multiple hierarchies of brain function, including gene and neurotransmitter systems.

In my talk, I will shortly review the evolving concepts of brain network dysfunction in clinical populations, concentrating on schizophrenia as an example. I will discuss the benefits and limitation of traditional approaches and provide examples of how novel network tools can - in combination with pharmacological imaging and genetic analyses - address some of the challenges and can help pave the way for a more integrated understanding of brain dysfunction in mental disorders.

Bio: Urs Braun received a M.D. (2004) from the University of Freiburg. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Heidelberg (2013–2016) and the University of Pennsylvania (2015 & 2019) and completed his psychiatric residency at the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim in 2018. Currently, he heads the research group Complex System in Psychiatry at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim.

His lab focuses on applying novel methods derived from complex system theory and network neuroscience to tackle scientific questions at the intersection of psychiatry, neurobiology and social science. The lab uses and develops tools including multimodal neuroimaging, ambulatory assessment, genetics and psychopharmacology to study functional and structural brain networks and their perturbation in mental disorders, neuromodulatory transmitter systems (especially dopamine) and their influence on cognitive processes and has recently developed an interest in meta-scientific analysis of psychiatric research collaborations, publications and (historical) development of psychiatric ideas and topics.

The Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind (VBM) Seminar Series will advance the vision of Dr. William Feindel (1918–2014), Former Director of the Neuro (1972–1984), to constantly bridge the clinical and research realms. The talks will highlight the latest advances and discoveries in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroimaging.

Speakers will include scientists from across The Neuro, as well as colleagues and collaborators locally and from around the world. The series is intended to provide a virtual forum for scientists and trainees to continue to foster interdisciplinary exchanges on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of brain and cognitive disorders.

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