Neuronal Biophysics

The brain is considered to be one of the most complex structures known to humanity, and yet all the brains that exist are made out of the same building blocks — neurons. These miraculous cells are responsible for every sensation and thought we ever experience. In particular, it is the communication of these cells that gives rise to our personalities, memories, and actions. Neurons are impacted in diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, underscoring the importance of understanding them for developing treatments.

In this course we will zoom onto these fascinating cells and explore them from both theoretical and experimental perspectives. Over six days, we will learn about the unique features of neurons, investigate their connections to other cells and raise the fundamental questions of how they communicate. We will further get acquainted with methods used in modern neuroscience and find out how these are utilised in a research setting. Can we connect individual neurons to observable behaviour? We will explore these topics through literature, short experiments and group discussions. Since the course is a combination of cellular biology and physics, a basic level of knowledge in both is valued, but not necessary.

Sara Banovska

Sara is a huge fan of natural sciences and is particularly interested in combining physics and mathematics with biology. Therefore, she completed her bachelor’s degree in Nanobiology (a.k.a. Biophysics) at Delft University of Technology. During her studies she fell head over heels in love with neuroscience, which she is now studying at Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich with a special focus on computational neuroscience. During her studies she completed internships in physics and neuroscience labs, did a semester-long exchange in Australia and worked as a teacher assistant in physics and linear algebra. Her interest lies in understanding how complex functions the brain fulfills arise on the molecular level- particularly, what it is about neurons that helps them to evaluate incoming signals and process information. In the future, she would love to stay in the field of molecular and cellular neuroscience and become a scientist and a professor. In her free time she is very enthusiastic about good food and coffee, spending time with her friends and dog Stella, running or scuba-diving.

Session D

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