HILL, Sean

Co-Director of the Blue Brain Project and co-Director of Neuroinformatics in the European Union funded Human Brain Project (HBP)

Sean Hill is co-Director of the Blue Brain Project and co-Director of Neuroinformatics in the European Union funded Human Brain Project (HBP) at the École Poly­tech­nique Fédérale de Lau­sanne (EPFL). Dr. Hill also serves as the Scientific Director of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Hill has extensive experience in building and simulating large-scale models of brain circuitry and has also supervised and led research efforts exploring the principles underlying the structure and dynamics of neocortical and thalamocortical microcircuitry. He currently serves in management and advisory roles on several large-scale clinical informatics initiatives around the world. After completing his Ph.D. in computational neuroscience at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Dr. Hill held postdoctoral positions at The Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, then joined the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center where he served as the Project Manager for Computational Neuroscience in the Blue Brain Project until his appointment at the EPFL.


17:00-18:30 5 NOVEMBER
thematic SESSION i.B: mapping the brain, unlocking the mind

An Overview of the Human Brain Project

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a European Commission Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship that aims to accelerate our understanding of the human brain, enable advances in defining and diagnosing brain disorders, and develop new brain-like technologies.

The goal of the HBP is to provide a collaborative infrastructure to organise, integrate and analyze data and models from brain research around the world, across species, and across levels of the brain from genes to cognition and behaviour. Using this infrastructure, the HBP aims to deliver a collaboratively built first draft “scaffold” model and simulation of the human brain by 2023. This will not be a complete simulation of every detail, but will provide a framework for integrating data and knowledge related to the structure and function of the human brain from around the world. The model and simulations will provide an open community test bed for hypotheses and theories of brain function in health and disease. This scaffold model will thus serve as the heart of a global collaboration to understand the human brain.

The HBP is organized in thirteen subprojects, spanning strategic neuroscience data, cognitive architectures, theory, ethics and society, management and the development of six new informatics-based platforms for Neuroinformatics, Brain Simulation, High Performance Computing, Medical Informatics, Neuromorphic Computing and Neurorobotics.

These platforms will be accessible through the HBP Collaboratory – an internet portal specifically designed to enable and enhance collaboration and team science. These platforms will also serve as the focal point for an educational programme designed to engage and train the next generation of scientists. This research will be closely monitored to ensure the ethical use of data and responsible research and innovation with active roles for scientists, philosophers, ethicists, policy makers and members of society.