Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Brain Mind Institute of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Brain Mind Institute

In February 2016, the Donders Institute and the
Brain Mind Institute of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, have signed collaboration agreements on research and training. The agreements pave the way to strengthen current exchanges between the two centres and to explore new collaboration opportunities. The signature took place during a joint PI meeting in the Lausanne between Guillen Fernandez, chair of the Board of Directors of the Donders Institute, Gisou van der Goot, Dean of the School of Life Sciences of EPFL and Carmen Sandi, Director of the Brain Mind Institute at EPFL and current holder of the Valkhof chair in Nijmegen.

Research ties

Science now has to tackle increasingly complex questions, which, to be answered, require the collaboration of researchers working in diverse disciplines and like institutes. The development of international scientific networks and centres is crucial for cutting-edge discoveries and for the translation of basic research findings to application.

These agreements reinforce Donders’ international ties and its commitment to participating in joint research endeavours.

Research of excellence is a hallmark of the two centres. The Brain Mind Institute focuses on four main areas: 1) Mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction, with a particular focus on neurodegeneration and stress-related psychopathologies, 2) Molecular and cellular mechanisms of synapse and microcircuit function up to the behavioral level and including metabolic aspects, 3) Sensory and body perception and cognition in humans, and 4) Designing innovative interventions to restore sensorimotor functions after neural disorders.

Collaborative grant applications and participation in the Radboud Excellence Initiative is forseen. A follow up PI meeting will be planned next year

Training ties

Master and PhD students exchange will be organised to allow the students to become familiar with the facilities and technology available in the other centre. Other initiatives concern EPFL participation in Donders Discussions, summer schools and joint PhD positions.

All these exchange initiatives open up collaboration opportunities between research groups at the Donders Institute and the Brain Mind Institute.


Carmen Sandi
SV 2810 (Bâtiment SV)
Station 19
CH-1015 Lausanne

Guillén Fernandez

Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Kapittelweg 29
6525 EN Nijmegen