2017 School on Brain Connectomics

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Course content

Technical theme

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, MEG) 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. All these topics must be faced in a multidisciplinary approach touching the different fields that are involved by this exquisitely interdisciplinary topic.

Outline of the topics

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. Connectomics bridges signal and image processing with applied mathematics, graph theory and machine learning.


Day 1 - October 9

Time Topic Title Lecturers
8:15 - 8:45 Registration
8:45 - 9:00 Welcome address Gloria Menegaz, Mario Pezzotti
9:00 - 10:00 Opening Lecture Structural and functional connectomics - an overview Jean Philippe Thiran
10:00 - 11:30 Neuroanatomy Looking at the brain grey and white matter: connectivity versus connectome approaches Marina Bentivoglio
11:30 - 11:45 Break
11:45 - 13:15 Neuroanatomy Computational neuroanatomy and its relevance to brain theory Giorgio Innocenti
13:15 - 14:15 Lunch
14:15 - 15:15 Power Pitch
15:30 Social event

Day 2 - October 10

Day 3 - October 11

Day 4 - October 12

Day 5 - October 13

Time Topic Title Lecturers
8:30 - 10:00 Microstructure Microstructure imaging with diffusion MRI: Pulse sequence design and biophysical modelling Markus Nilsson
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 11:45 Validation Validating tractography pipelines: the help of simulated phantoms Emmanuel Caruyer
11:45 - 13:00 Panel discussion
13:15 - 14:15 Lunch

Power Pitch

All the participants are required to present their research topic and activity during one minute at the power pitch session taking place on Monday right after lunch. To this end, three slides must be sent to the organizers by Friday 6 at 11:00 am in pdf format.


Jean Philippe Thiran

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

BIO Academic page

Markus Nilsson

Diagnostic Radiology
Lund University, Sweden

BIO Academic page

Alessandro Daducci

Dept. of Computer Science
University of Verona

BIO Academic page

Silvia F. Storti

Dept. of Computer Science
University of Verona

BIO Academic page

Janine Bijsterbosch

Analysis Group, FMRIB Centre
University of Oxford

BIO Academic page

Maria Giulia Preti

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

BIO Academic page

Olivier Coulon

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

BIO Academic page

Martijn Van den Heuvel

Dutch Conectome Lab, University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, Netherlands

BIO Academic page

Marina Bentivoglio

Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movement Science, University of Verona

BIO Academic page

Donald Tournier

Department of Biomedical Engineering, King's College, London

BIO Academic page

Carlo Pierpaoli

Quantitative Medical Imaging Section - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIH)

BIO Academic page

Giorgio Innocenti

Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neuroscience, Solna, Stockholm

BIO Academic page

Emmanuel Caruyer

VisAGeS research team
IRISA, France

BIO Academic page

Jonas Richiardi

Department of Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital

BIO Academic page

Alessandra Griffa

Dutch Conectome Lab, University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, Netherlands

BIO Academic page


The school will be held at the Dept. of Computer Science of the University of Verona (Verona, Italy). Facilities will be made available for hands-on laboratory sessions where the students will learn and experiment software tools for data processing (pre-processing, analysis, modeling).


Organizing Committee:

Gloria Menegaz
Alessandro Daducci
Silvia Storti

Local Committee:

Gloria Menegaz
Alessandro Daducci
Silvia Storti
Ilaria Boscolo Galazzo
Mauro Zucchelli
Lorenza Brusini


Registration fees:

  • SPS member, student (lowest rate) - € 150 for the whole event
  • Non-SPS member, student - € 200 for the whole event
  • SPS member, non-student - € 300 for the whole event
  • Non-SPS member, non-student - € 350 for the whole event

The number of participants is limited to 40.

Priority will be given to Ph.D. students. If you are a post-doc or a researcher, please contact one of the organizers (gloria.menegaz[at]univr [dot] it , alessandro.daducci[at]univr [dot] it , silviafrancesca.storti[at]univr [dot] it ). Admission to the school is possible if there are positions available.

Application requirements:

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

Applicants should send the necessary documentation via email at the following address: gloria.menegaz[at]univr [dot] it

Deadline for applications: September 15, 2017

AFTER the notification of acceptance, payments can be made via credit card at the following link: http://www.di.univr.it/?ent=vendita&codice=BRAIN17

Travel grant program

Depending on the available funding, travel grants could be offered to participants to assists them in attending the Winter School on Brain Connectomics. A limited number of scholarships will be given to attendees who have a demonstrable need for financial support. Award criteria will include the effectiveness of the power pitch presentation and preference will be given to PhD students and to those living outside Italy.

Travel scholarships are intended to help cover the cost of travel, lodging and registration, and cannot exceed € 500 per applicant.

As the scholarships depend on the availability of residual funding upon completion of the School, applicants will be notified of the outcome of the awarding process only once the registration of all the attendees is completed. The scholarships are issued as a reimbursement.