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‘Brain Forum’ to tackle healthcare challenges

Saudi Arabia will be hosting the first of its kind symposium in the Middle East region

By Syeda Amtul / 13 Nov 2013

Saudi Arabia will be hosting the first of its kind symposium in the Middle East region that will bring together some of the world’s top inspirational thinkers and pioneers in the field of Brain Research and Personalized Healthcare.

The two-day symposium titled "The Brain Forum-Challenging the Future" will be held under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Naif on December 3 and 4 at the Laylaty Hall.

It is being organized by W Science in collaboration with King Abdul Aziz University (KAU), King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), the Saudi Society of Neurology, and NeuroPro AG Switzerland.

Renowned scientists from all over the world will present their latest discoveries and hold open discussions on the future of brain research and related healthcare challenges.

The forum will also present new tools, technologies and other personalized healthcare innovations that could improve the diagnosis, management and treatment of brain disorders.

The forum will provide physicians, scientists, and business executives from both the public and private sectors opportunities to exchange ideas and share their thoughts on the future healthcare challenges and opportunities.
Dr. Walid Juffali said: "The forum comes within the framework of initiatives undertaken by the Saudi government to address national health priorities, including neurodegenerative diseases and brain disorders."

He believes the Kingdom will the benefit greatly from leading scientists and global experts, contributing to the improvement of medical technology.

W Science Initiative was launched by Dr. Juffali to support outstanding scientific projects and facilitate collaborations among leading scientists working at the interfaces of different scientific disciplines to address unmet medical needs and improve the quality of personalized healthcare.

Among the speakers are some of the leading experts who through their pioneering work and leadership of major international scientific initiatives are playing major roles in shaping the future of brain research.

The forum was set up in conjunction with a Scientific Committee which includes Professor Dr. Hilal A. Lashuel, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Director of the Laboratory of Chemical Biology of Neurodgeneration, Brain Mind Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland; Professor Christopher Toumazou from Imperial College, and Dr. Jamil El-Imad, Managing Director and Chief Scientist of NeuroPro, a Swiss-based medical technology research, design and commercialization company focused on bringing to the healthcare community innovative, safe and low-cost solutions to applied neural signal analysis Professor Saeed Bohlega, professor and senior neurology consultant at the Department of Neurology at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, and the President of Saudi Neurology Society, Dr. Mohammed Jan, Professor & Consultant of Pediatric Neurology & Clinical Neurophysiology Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, (KAU).

Among the Forum speakers are: Prof. Patrick Aebischer, Professor of Neuroscience and President of the ÉcolePolytechniqueFédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland; Prof. Alim-Louis Benabid, director of the National Centre for Nanotechnologies in Healthcare, based in Grenoble and Chairman of the Board, Clinatec, CEA Grenoble, France; Prof. Olaf Blanke is founding director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics, Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Cognitive Neuroprosthetics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL; Prof. Ralph Etienne-Cummings, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and computer science at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the founding Director of the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering, United States of America; Alvaro Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of SharpBrains; Prof. YikeGuo, a professor in computing sciences at the Department of Computing at Imperial College, United Kingdom; Dr. Thomas Grunwald, aneurologist at the Swiss Epilepsy Centre in Zurich and a senior consultant for epileptology at the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland; Dr. Sean Hill, co-director of the Blue Brain Project and co-director of Neuroinformatics in the European Union funded Human Brain Project (HBP) at the EPFL; Prof. Christof Koch, Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle; Lois and Victor Troendle, Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology at The California Institute of Technology; Prof. Pierre Magistretti, Dean of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering in KAUST, Professor (on leave) at Brain Mind Institute of EPFL, and President elect of the International Brain Organization (IBRO); Prof. Wolfgang Knecht, managing director of the Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ) of the University and ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Prof. Miguel Nicolelis, Director, Center for Neuroengineering, Neurobiology, and School of Medicine in Duke University Medical Center.


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