Entry Date:
August 27, 2013

Center for Neurobiological Engineering (CNBE)

One of the greatest challenges of our time is to reverse engineer the human brain. Achieving this will vastly expand our understanding of cognition and perception, as well as our ability to treat brain disorders by repairing, controlling, and even designing new neural structures. Due to the incredible complexity of the brain – each cubic millimeter of which contains perhaps a hundred thousand cells linked to one another by a billion connections – reverse engineering the brain will require tremendous innovation in the technologies for measuring, manipulating, and analyzing processes and functions of the nervous system.

The Center of Neurobiological Engineering brings together MIT’s unique, transdisciplinary set of engineers and scientists to tackle the challenges of this field. The Center advocates:

(1) Creation of next-generation tools for comprehensive and systematic experimental investigation of the nervous system.
(2) Strategies for engineering neurons, neural tissue, and their interactions with other cells, devices, and prosthetics.
(3) Novel engineering-based strategies for the analysis of neural systems and data.
(4) Education and exchange of ideas at the interfaces between neurobiology and engineering.

CNBE will disseminate the technologies we develop widely, through collaborations in basic and clinical neurobiology, with the goal of helping the neuroscience community at MIT and beyond to discover fundamental principles of brain operation, as well as new approaches to the treatment and diagnosis of disease.