April 2020

Application for the 2020 Brain Circuits Course is open April 15-May 15 2020. Link to application system here.

The Brain Circuits course is a one week PhD course arranged by Marie Carlén and Dinos Meletis, and is running on its 9th year.

Previous speakers: Carl Petersen (EPFL), Edvard Moser (NTNU), Karl Deisseroth (Stanford University), Laura Busse (LMU Munich), Ofer Yizhar (Weismann Institute), Feng Zhang (MIT), Hongkui Zeng (Allen Brain Institute), Ed Boyden (MIT), Seung-Hee Lee (Kaist), Chris Moore (Brown University), Pete Magill (Oxford University), Yeka Aponte (NIH), Andreas Tolias (Baylor), Anton Zirota (LMU Munich), Adam Kepecs (CSHL), Gilad Silberberg (KI), David Dupret (Oxford University), Jonathan Whitlock (NTNU), Koen Vervaeke (Oslo University), Jeremiah Cohen (John Hopkins), Christian Lüscher (Univsersity of Geneva), Marie Carlén (KI), Dinos Meletis (KI), Josh Siegle (Allen Brain Institute), Jakob Voigts (MIT), Iskra Pollak-Dorocic (Berkley), Sofie Ährlund-Richter (KI), Iakovos Lazaridis (KI), Pierre Le Merre (KI) and more.

Purpose of the course The purpose of the course is to provide doctoral students in the field of neuroscience with an overview of current state-of-the art approaches, technologies and concepts used for understanding of the brain’s circuits and functions in animal models. All invited speakers have made seminal contributions to how we currently study and understand the brain, and there will be ample opportunities for the students to interact with the speakers, and discuss aspects relevant to their own work.
Intended learning outcomes By the end of the course the student shall be able to:
– explain the structure and function of the main brain circuits,
– describe the principles for excitatory and inhibitory networks, including receptors and neurotransmitters, as well as the action of different chemical neuromodulators,
– describe principles, use and readout of optogenetics and recording technologies,
– describe principles and methods to define the structure (neuroanatomy) of brain circuits,
– explain how dysfunctions of networks can manifest as neuropsychiatric disorders,
– describe animal behavior tests probing specific networks and network functions.
Contents of the course The course will cover the organization and function of main circuits in the brain, including the interaction and participation of different cell types, the interplay between excitation and inhibition, and how circuit output results in behavior. Different techniques for recording, labeling and manipulation of neuronal circuits in animal models will be discussed, including electrophysiology, molecular targeting, optogenetics and viral tracing. The connection between deficient circuit functions and neuropsychiatric disorders will be included, as well as animal behavior tests probing specific circuits and circuit (dys)functions. Specific emphasis will be put into describing the technologies currently used in the neuroscience field.
Teaching and learning activities Lectures by invited experts and group exercises.

October 2019

Upcoming: PhD position in the CarlenLab.

The CarlenLab is part of the funded H2020 project euSNN; European School of Network Neuroscience project. As part of this, a PhD student will be recruited to the lab. The position will be openly advertised and an application link posted here on the CarlenLab web site.
Estimated application time: late 2019-early 2020, with start of position late spring 2020. See below for specific eligibility conditions. 

Funded project:
euSNN; European School of Network Neuroscience project.

H2020-EU.1.3 – EXCELLENT SCIENCE – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
H2020-EU.1.3.1. – Fostering new skills by means of excellent initial training of researchers

Topic: MSCA-ITN-2019 – Innovative Training Networks

Budget: € 3 966 875,64

Project time: Oct 1 2019 – Sep 30 2023

Objective: Taking neuroscience from the study of individual brain regions to a network-based approach is essential for unravelling the mechanisms of cognition and behaviour and their breakdown in disorders. Network neuroscience is only at its incipient stages. Therefore, we propose an ETN for training ESRs on this emerging field and its application domains. euSNN will integrate leading European groups in network neuroscience and deliver training on knowledge and skills that enable students to pursue a successful career in this emerging field. euSNN will combine and train all approaches relevant for investigation of brain networks, including (f)MRI, M/EEG, in-vivo recordings, analysis, modelling, network modulation with optogenetics or non-invasive neurostimulation and studies on network changes in neurological disorders. The novelty of euSNN’s training results from the unique combination of experimental, analysis and modelling approaches, which is amplified in a highly integrated programme that cuts across disciplines and sectors. This is in stark contrast with traditional concepts on graduate training in neuroscience, which often have been confined to a single research approach. All euSNN thesis projects focus on the key goal of identifying, analysing, and manipulating network interactions underlying cognitive and sensorimotor functions or their disturbances. Each project will operate across both academic and industrial partners in the network, giving a unique translational and application-geared orientation to the training. Exploiting intense collaborations between experimental, theoretical and clinical groups, we link basic research on large-scale brain dynamics with new pathophysiological approaches and clinical applications. Overall, euSNN will contribute to assuring Europe’s leading position in the field of network neuroscience, while giving ESRs state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research and entrepreneurial skills.


  • BRAIN INNOVATION BV, Netherlands.
  • SCICOVERY GMBH, Germany.

Eligibility conditions:
All researchers recruited in an ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers* (ESRs) and undertake transnational mobility.
Researchers can be of any nationality. They are required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. Nationality is therefore not a criterion. Rather the location of the researcher’s residence or main activity during the 3 years prior to their recruitment is the determining factor**.

* Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) must, at the date of recruitment by the beneficiary, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

**Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention1 are not taken into account. For international European interest organisations, international organisations, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) or an ‘entity created under Union law’, recruited researchers must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date at the same appointing organisation.

September 2019

CarlenLab postdoc Pierre Le Merre receives 2019 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant

The NARSAD Young Investigator Grants were initiated to fund innovative, cutting-edge research projects relevant to serious brain and behaviour disorders such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders or child and adolescent mental illnesses.

Pierre Le Merre, from the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, is one of the “promising young candidates with innovative ideas within the field of mental health research” to receive the two-year grant.

The grant, which offers 35 000 USD per year for two years, will enable him to identify the neuronal determinants of working memory in the prefrontal cortex. Working memory is a core cognitive function affected in mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Therefore, this research programme aims to diagnose better and treat the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia.”

Link: KI announcement

Link: Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Grants

Link: The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Share This