RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies


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[Sep.19th] BrainTrain Conference


2013 September 19th




Koryuto-hall is located at the first (ground) floor of the RIKEN Yokohama Main Office Building. 
Map here.


The BrainTrain network was established in 2009 as an integrative and multidisciplinary neuroscience research consortium. The main goals of the consortium are to establish therapeutic targets and strategies for neuronal disorders, as well as to train and deliver 16 highly skilled early stage researchers. Funded by the European Framework Package 7, the consortium is composed of eight European and one Japanese research institutes in addition to three commercial partners. Divided into five work packages, the consortium is bringing together expertise in brain genetics, synaptic interactome genomics, synaptic plasticity and transmission, and behavioural function.

The upcoming BrainTrain conference, signals the completion of the four-year consortium. Organized by BrainTrain students, the conference brings together the BrainTrain faculty and students along with researchers from around the world to discuss up-to-date developments in neuronal disorder mechanisms and diagnosis. In addition to academic and pharmaceutical-industry research talks, the representative of the European Delegation to Japan will provide an overview of the research funding opportunities for the upcoming Horizon 2020 Framework Research Programme.


Attendance is free, but registration is required. Lunch and a borrel drink are included. (Registration will be available until Sunday, September 8th, 2013). Link to flyer
*For RIKEN employees attending the conference (general participants) only borrel drink will be included.


08:30 - 09:00
Welcome coffee

09:00 - 10:00
"Trafficking and Secretion of Secretory Vesicles in Mammalian Neurons" Professor Mathijs Verhage (Head of Functional Genomics Department, Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

10:00 - 11:00
"Non-invasive Prenatal Diagnosis of Genetic Disorders" Professor Philippos Patsalis (Chief Executive Medical Director Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics - Chief Executive Director Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine, Nicosia, Cyprus)

11:00 - 11:30
Coffee break

11:30 - 12:30
"The effects of amyloid-beta on synapses" Dr. Helmut Kessels (Department Head, Synaptic Plasticity and Behaviour, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

12:30 - 14:00

14:00 - 15:00
"Probing Rules for Disturbing Synaptic Strength in Simple Networks" Professor Yukiko Goda (Senior Team Leader, Neural Circuit Function, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Tokyo, Japan)

15:00 - 16:00
"Naturalistic Fearful Environment and Risky Decisions in Rats" Professor Jeansok Kim (Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA)

16:00 - 16:30
Coffee break

16:30 - 17:30
"Development of Tafamidis, a Transthyretin Stabilizer for Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy" Dr. Yasuo Ochi andDr. Katsuyuki Machii (Pfizer Japan)

17:30 - 18:00
"Upcoming Research Funding Opportunities; Horizon 2020 Overview" Dr. Barbara Rhode (Head of Science and Technology Section, Minister Counselor, Delegation of the European Union to Japan)

18:00 - 18:30
Closing remarks

18:30 - 20:00
Dinner at RIKEN (reserved for BrainTrain fellows and speakers)

[BrainTrain Academic and Commercial Partners] 

Genetics of the Brain

To uncover genetic mechanisms underlying the complex etiology of pathological brain dysfunction in dementia and milder age related cognitive decline.
  1. Prof. Peter Heutink, VUMC, the Netherlands
  2. Dr. Piero Carninci, RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Japan
  3. Dr. Patrizia Rizzu, DZNE Tubingen, Germany


Synaptic Interactome

To reveal disease-causing changes in the interactome, provide a description of the (extra-) synaptic interactome and generate quantitative dynamical models of selected synaptic protein "hubs".
  1. Prof. Guus Smit, CNCR, VU Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Prof. Eckhardt Gundelfinger, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Germany
  3. Prof. Helena Danielson, BEACTICA and Uppsala Universiteit, Sweden


Functional Genomics of the Synapse

The study of candidate genes regulating synaptic delivery and neurodegenerative mutations influencing synaptic transport.
  1. Dr. Heidi de Wit, CNCR, VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  2. Prof. Angus Silver, UCL, UK
  3. Prof. Thomas Kuner, University of Heidelberg, Germany


Synaptic Plasticity

To investigate effects of specifically-targeted molecules on synaptic plasticity within single neurons and their surrounding networks in models of cognitive impairment.
  1. Assist. Prof. Rhiannon Meredith, Sylics and CNCR, VU Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Prof. Claudia Bagni, VIB, KU Leuven, Belgium
  3. Prof. Uwe Maskos, Pasteur Institut, France


Transmission and Behaviour

To study behavioural consequences of interference with potential key molecules and adaptor proteins involved in regulation of synaptic function in cognitive function and autonomic regulation.
  1. Assoc. Prof. Oliver Stiedl, Sylics and CNCR, VU Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Prof. Per Svenningsson, Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  3. Dr. Christian Gutzen, BIOBSERVE, Germany

[Official language ] 


CLST was reorganized into three centers according to the RIKEN 4th Medium-Term Plan from April 1, 2018.