2016 School on Brain Connectomics


Course content

Connectomics is one of the hottest inter-disciplinary topics today. It links Computer Science and Engineering with Life Sciences and Medicine. Connection networks grow over functional (fMRI, ASL, EEG) and structural (diffusion weighted MRI) data and the integration of the two in both static and dynamic conditions would shed light on the way our brain actually works. Connectomics also holds paramount potential for clinical applications through the characterization of the network's modulation in pathologies and the assessment of the treatment. In particular, it allows capturing the plasticity processes that are due to different causes including learning, aging and recovering from injury.

The School on Brain Connectomics aims at gathering the knowledge in the different fields that are touched by these topics, providing the students a comprehensive view of this research area as well as awareness about the cutting-edge methodological, experimental and clinical aspects that are involved.

The School articulates in four days respectively focusing on diffusion MRI and microstructure (Session 1), functional neuroimaging (Session 2), connectivity models (Session 3) and clinical aspects (Session 4). Each day will alternate teaching hours (2 hours/speaker) with a "Diving Into Science" (DIS) session that will be described in the following.

The School will be held at the Dept. of Computer Science of the University of Verona.

Speakers will present their topic in morning (8:30-10:30 and 11:00-13:00) and afternoon sessions (14:00-16:00), in short courses of two hours. At the end of each day a slot of two hours will be dedicated to DIS. The last day will cover the morning session with seminars while a practical session will take place in the afternoon (to be confirmed).

The opening lecture will be held by Prof. Rachid Deriche, winner of the ERC Advanced grant with the project CoBCoM "Computational Brain Connectivity Mapping".


Monday 19 - Opening / Diffusion and microstructre

8:30 - 9:00 ---- Registration ----
9:05 - 9:15 Welcome from Prof. Mario Pezzotti, Rector's delegate for Research
Time Speaker Title
9:15 - 10:15 Rachid Deriche Computational Brain Connectivity Mapping via Diffusion MRI
10:30 - 12:30 Jean-Philippe Thiran An overview on the connected brain
13:30 - 15:30 Flavio Dell'Acqua Studying Connectional Neuroanatomy with Diffusion Imaging: From post-mortem dissection to local diffusion modelling
15:45 - 17:45 Markus Nilsson Imaging microstructure by diffusion MRI: The role of non-conventional pulse sequences
19:00 - Welcome reception @Chiostro Santa Maria delle Vittorie

Tuesday 20 - Tractography and beyond

Time Speaker Title
9:00 - 11:00 Maxime Descoteaux Tractography background, False positive of tractography: open problems for structural connectomics
11:15 - 13:15 Alessandro Daducci Estimating brain connectivity with diffusion MRI: state-of-the-art and open challenges
14:15 - 16:15 Angelo Bifone Modular organization of brain connectivity networks
16:30 - 18:30 - DIS session

Wednesday 21 - Functional imaging

Time Speaker Title
9:00 - 11:00 Olivier Coulon Seeding connectivity: cortical parcellation
11:15 - 13:15 Louis Lemieux Multimodal functional imaging and connectivity
14:15 - 16:15 Dimitri Van De Ville Functional connectivity models: from blobs to (dynamic) networks
16:30 - 18:30 - DIS session

Thursday 22 - Networks and Graphs

Time Speaker Title
9:00 - 11:00 Marina Bentivoglio Structural versus functional neuronal connectivity
11:15 - 13:15 Cristina Granziera Multi-contrast brain connectivity: concepts and clinical applications
14:15 - 15:15 Alessandra Griffa Mapping spatio-temporal coherence on brain networks: dMRI-fMRI integration and applications to psychotic disorders
15:30 - 17:30 - DIS session

DIS session

Groups of students will be formed leaded by a tutor for each topic. The tutor will select 2 papers for each speaker of the Session to be read by the students in the topic group. The DIS session will consist in an open discussion chaired by the tutor with the speakers of the topic.

Social events

  • We planned a Welcome Reception on Monday, 19. The reception will be held at the Chiostro Santa Maria delle Vittorie.
  • We will also have a social dinner on Wednesday, 21 (for speakers and tutors).

Poster Session

Participants wishing to present their work may prepare a poster (size: max A0 (842 x 1189 mm)). Those who plan to present a poster must send an email with a short abstract to info [at] brainconnectomics [dot] org no later than Sept. 9 2016.


Rachid Deriche pic

Rachid Deriche

Sophia Antipolis - Méditerannée Research Center, INRIA, France

Jean-Philippe Thiran pic

Jean-Philippe Thiran

Signal Processing Lab. (LTS5), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Maxime Descoteaux pic

Maxime Descoteaux

Sherbrook Connectivity Imaging Lab. (SCIL), Sherbrook University, Canada

Flavio Dell'Acqua pic

Flavio Dell'Acqua

Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, King's College London, UK

Alessandro Daducci pic

Alessandro Daducci

Radiology Dept., Vaud University Hospital (CHUV) and LTS5-EPFL, Switzerland

Dimitri Van De Ville pic

Dimitri Van De Ville

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and University of Geneva, Switzerland

Louis Lemieux pic

Louis Lemieux

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL, UK

Olivier Coulon pic

Olivier Coulon

MeCA research group - Laboratory for Signals and Systems (LSIS), CNRS, Marseille, France

Angelo Bifone pic

Angelo Bifone

Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, IIT, Italy

Alessandra Griffa pic

Alessandra Griffa

Radiology Dept., Vaud University Hospital (CHUV) and LTS5-EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

Markus Nilsson pic

Markus Nilsson

Lund University, Sweden

Cristina Granziera pic

Cristina Granziera

Harvard Medical School

Marina Bentivoglio pic

Marina Bentivoglio

University of Verona, Italy



Steering committee

Organizing committee

  • Gloria Menegaz
  • Paolo Manganotti
  • Paolo Avesani
  • Mauro Zucchelli
  • Silvia Storti
  • Ilaria Boscolo Galazzo
  • Francesca B. Pizzini


  • Diffusion and Microstructure: Dr. Mauro Zucchelli
  • Functional Imaging: Dr. Silvia Storti
  • Networks and Graphs: Dr. Alessandra Griffa
  • Clinical Applications: Dr. Francesca B. Pizzini


Registration fee: € 150. The number of participants is limited to 50. Priority will be given to PhD students.

Application requirements

  1. The applicant must be a PhD student or a post-doc

  2. A signed motivation letter from the applicant that includes a statement indicating how this School may benefit the applicant's current or future research or training

  3. The applicant's curriculum vitae

  4. If the applicant is a PhD student, a signed letter from the applicant's supervisor confirming his/her enrollment in a PhD course

Applicants should send the necessary documentation via email at the following address: info [at] brainconnectomics [dot] org (CC gloria.menegaz [at] univr [dot] it ). If you don't receive any acknowledgement of reception within 2 days please contact gloria.menegaz [at] univr [dot] it .

Deadline for Submission is 23:59 US EDT on Sept. 2th 2016.

Positions are still available, please send your application within Sept. 9

Notification of acceptance: Sept. 9th 2016

After the notification of acceptance, payments can be made either via credit card at the following link:
or via bank transfer directed to "Dipartimento di Informatica Università degli Studi di Verona" using the following coordinates:

Banca Popolare di Verona S.G.S.P.
IBAN: IT05 O 05034 11750 000000011066
Swift code BAPPIT21001

NOTE: If the payment is made by an italian public authority, please contact us beforehand at info [at] brainconnectomics [dot] org