Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders (NERF) is a young not-for-profit academic research initiative with the ultimate goal of forming a thorough understanding of brain function at multiple levels of detail ranging from single cells and circuits to behaviour. New insights into the operation of brain circuits are empowered by the development of novel technologies that integrate neurobiology and nano-scale engineering. We aim to develop and use novel electronic, chemical and optical tools to monitor and manipulate brain circuits. In the long term the basic research at NERF is expected to inspire scientists to simulate brain networks, as well as lay a scientific framework for the development of novel medical applications, in particular the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.
Founded by Imec, VIB, and KU Leuven, NERF is housed on the Imec campus in Leuven, Belgium, where researchers work in cross-disciplinary teams, benefitting from Imec’s state-of-the-art clean room infrastructure and set of neuroscience labs. NERF is made up of 6 teams doing world-class basic research in systems and circuits neuroscience and has recruited 2 additional groups. Continuous funding is provided by the 3 founders and the Government of Flanders. NERF scientists have the opportunity to collaborate with over 30 local neuroscience research groups covering a wide range of expertise, including synaptic physiology, axon guidance, brain-computer interface, neurological disorders.
The lab of Vincent Bonin is looking for an enthusiastic and talented individual with broad practical technical skills to spur our laboratory’s software and hardware development. The Bonin lab studies the network mechanisms that underlie sensory processing in the mammalian brain. Using fast and sensitive laser-scanning microscopes and advanced microprobes recordings, we measure the activity of large groups of nerve cells while the animal explores a controlled virtual environment. By relating the measured neural responses to the sensory stimuli experienced by the animal, we infer the sensory computations performed by the network. We are particularly intersted in in how specific components of the circuit implement specific sensory computations, and how these computations relate to the animal’s behaviour.
Support researchers with development of software and hardware directed towards the study of brain function in behaving animals. This includes design and implementation of optical and electrical measurement systems, data analysis software, and testing of novel neuro-technologies.