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Nobel Prize Laureates.

Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Is a leading research institute founded by Nobel Laureates May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser in 1996 to investigate the emergence of higher brain functions.

The neuroscience research institute led by Edvard Moser, May-Britt Moser and Bjarne Foss, now comprises four research centres:

  • Centre for Neural Computation (CNC)
  • Egil and Pauline Braathen and Fred Kavli Centre for Cortical Microcircuits (BKC)
  • K.G. Jebsen Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease (JCA)
  • Mohn Research Center for the Brain (MCB)

The Kavli Institute is an interdisciplinary village of experts with the common desire to understand how complex information is encoded in high-level neural networks and how complex behaviours arise from these codes and systems.

The institute staff is organized in eleven research groups, and several support groups such as Animal Tech, Technical Group, Kavli Communication, and an Administrative team.

The department is responsible for an international Master's degree programme in Neuroscience, and has joint responsibility for the PhD programme in Medicine and Health Sciences at NTNU, and The Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience (NRSN) organised and run by KISN with the support and participation from the major Norwegian universities.

The Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience is a Centre of Excellence (CoE) since 2002, a Kavli Foundation Institute since 2007, a Braathen-Kavli Centre since 2015, a department at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) since 2017, a K.G. Jebsen Centre since 2020, and a Mohn Research Centre since 2021.

Research focus

Research focus

The normal human brain is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons). Each nerve cell can have an average of approximately 10-20,000 points of contact with other nerve cells. These contact points are called synapses, which is where the storage of memories takes place.

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience explore the brain's functioning by detecting and analysing the electrical signals in the brain, primarily in the regions of the brain called the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. The hippocampus is an older part of the cerebral cortex and has a central role in the functioning of human and animal memory, while the entorhinal cortex contains grid cells, border cells, direction cells, and speed cells that together give the brain the ability to make highly advanced maps.

Since the centre’s inception, Kavli researchers have used laboratory rats as study animals. In the experiments, rats run around in boxes and corridors chasing treats. Simultaneously, very thin electrodes inserted into their brains enable researchers to detect their brain activity. The electrodes, placed in the space between the brain cells, are so sensitive that they distinguish signals from individual neurons in the network. Today KISN research groups study higher brain functions in rats, mice, zebrafish and humans using experimental and theoretical approaches.

Boards

Boards

Carla J. Shatz
Carla J. Shatz
Chairman, Professor Stanford University, California
Professor Larry Abbott. Photo.
Larry Abbott
Professor, Columbia University, New York
Catherine Dulac. Photo.
Catherine DuLac
Professor, Harvard University, Massachusetts
Rainer Friedrich. Photo.
Rainer Friedrich
Professor, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
Tony Movshon. Photo.
Tony Movshon
Professor, New York University School of Medicine
Erin Schumann. Photo.
Erin Schuman
Professor, Max Planch Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main
Michael Yassa. Silhouette.
Michael Yassa
Director of Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California at Irvine
Pro-Rector Tor Grande. Photo: Thor Nielsen/NTNU
Tor Grande
Chair, Vice-rector Research NTNU
Siri Forsmo. Photo
Siri Forsmo
Dean Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU
Cynthia Friend. Photo.
Cynthia Friend
President Kavli Foundation
Amy Bernard. Photo.
Amy Bernard
Director of Life Sciences Kavli Foundation

Robert Clifford. Illustration.
Robert Clifford
Representative of Pauline Braathen

Grethe Aasved. Photo.
Grethe Aasved
Director St.Olav’s Hospital

Stig Slørdahl. Photo.
Stig Slørdahl
Director Central Norway Regional Health Authority

Jan Morten Dyrstad. Photo. Jan Morten Dyrstad
Chairman Trondheim Foundation for Scientific Research (TFSR)

Tore Sandvik. Photo.
Tore O. Sandvik
County Council Chair, Trøndelag County

Edvard Moser. Photo.
Edvard Moser
Secretary, Scientific Director Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Professor May-Britt Moser
May-Britt Moser
Secretary, Scientific Director Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Bjarne Foss. Photo.
Bjarne Foss
Secretary, Administrative Director Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience
Karen Duff. Photo.
Karen Duff
Professor, UK Dementia Research Institute
Tara Spires Jones. Photo.
Tara Spires-Jones
Professor, University of Edinburgh
Emrah Duzel. Photo.
Emrah Düzel
Professor, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg
Henrik Zetterberg. Photo.
Henrik Zetterberg
Professor, Gothenburg University

Siri Forsmo. Photo
Siri Forsmo
Dean Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU

Grethe Aasved. Photo.
Grethe Aasved
Director St.Olav’s Hospital

Edvard Moser. Photo.
Edvard Moser
Professor Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Bjarne Foss. Photo.
Bjarne Foss
Administrative Director Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Anne Rita Øksengård. Photo.
Anne Rita Øksengård
Head of Research, Norwegian Health Association

Stig Slørdahl. Photo.
Stig Slørdahl
CEO, Central Norway Regional Health Authority
 
Tobias Bonhoeffer. Photo.
Tobias Bonhoeffer
Director
Max Planch Institute of Neurobiology, Munich
Erin Schuman. Photo.
Erin Schuman
Professor
Max Planch Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main
Valentina Emiliani. Photo.
Valentina Emiliani
Research Director
Institute de la Vision, Paris
Michael Hausser. Photo.
Michael Hausser
Professor
University College London
Siri Forsmo. Photo
Siri Forsmo
Dean Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU
Ivar P. Gladhaug. Photo.
Ivar Prydz Gladhaug
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
University of Oslo
Per Sigvald Bakke. Photo.
Per Sigvald Bakke
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
University of Bergen

Kavli faculty and historic timeline

Kavli faculty and historic timeline

 

May-Britt Moser
May-Britt Moser
Professor
Edvard Moser
Edvard Moser
Professor
Menno Witter
Menno Witter
Professor
Yasser Roudi
Yasser Roudi
Professor
 
Jonathan Whitlock
Jonathan Whitlock
Associate Professor
Clifford Kentros
Clifford Kentros
Professor
Emre Yaksi
Emre Yaksi
Professor
Christian Doeller. Photo.
Christian Doeller
Professor 20%
Tobias Navarro Schröder. Photo.
Tobias Navarro Schröder
Associate Professor
Giulia Quattrocolo
Giulia Quattrocolo
Researcher
Max Nigro
Maximiliano Jose Nigro
Researcher
Maryam Ziaei
Maryam Ziaei
Associate Professor
  • 2021: Creation of Mohn Research Centre for the brain
  • 2021: Principal investigator Maryam Ziaei starts up new research group at Kavli.
  • 2020: Opening of K.G. Jebsen Centre for Alzheimer's Disease. Principal investigators Tobias Navarro Schröder, Giulia Quattrocolo og Maximiliano Jose Nigro starts up new research groups at Kavli.
  • 2018: May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, in recognition of their research, their social involvement, and their commitment to animal welfare in research.
  • 2018: How your brain experiences time: Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience discovers a network of brain cells that express our sense of time within experiences and memories.
  • 2018: The Kavli Institute is an internationally leading centre of competence for brain research. The Institute hosts seven research groups, eight principal investigators, 100+ employees and an international student environment.
  • 2017: The Starmus IV festival is arranged in Trondheim
  • 2016: Principal investigator Christian Doeller starts up new research group at Kavli.
  • 2015: Creation of Egil and Pauline Braathen and Fred Kavli Centre for Cortical Microcircuits.
  • 2014: May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser receives the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine together with John O’Keefe for their discovery of the brain’s navigation system.
  • 2014: Principal investigator Emre Yaksi starts up new research group at Kavli.
  • 2013: Principal investigator Clifford Kentros starts up new research group at Kavli.
  • 2012: The Kavli Institute is awarded a second Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Neural Computation is established (funding period: 2012-2022).
  • Principal investigator Jonathan Whitlock starts up new research group at Kavli.
  • 2011: The Kavli Institute becomes part of NORBRAIN, with Edvard Moser as the national project leader. NORBRAIN is one of the world’s largest infrastructures for research on complex mental functions and dysfunctions, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
  • 2010: Principal investigator Yasser Roudi starts up new research group at Kavli.
  • 2007: Principal investigator Menno Witter starts up new research group at Kavli.
  • 2007: The research centre becomes a Kavli institute – the fifteenth in the world, the fourth within neuroscience, the third in Europe, the first and only in Norway.
  • 2005: International breakthrough: the discovery of grid cells.
  • 2002: Centre for the Biology of Memory is established as part of a new Centre of Excellence scheme by the Research Council of Norway (funding period: 2002-2012).
  • 1996: Research group with two employees: May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser. Their first research lab at NTNU is built from a bomb shelter. Their research focus is navigation and memory in the brain.

Historic timeline

Historic timeline

Support us

SUPPORT THE BRAIN RESEARCH

You are most welcome to support the brain research at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience led by May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser.

Trondheim Foundation for Scientific Research (TFSR) is the research fund of the Kavli Institute of Systems Neuroscience and has the sole purpose of providing direct financial support for the  brain research. 

Donate by Vipps

The Kavli Institute’s Vipps:

696680 (UNIFOR)

QR code the Kavli Institute's Vipps ​ 

How to support the brain research


Kavli Neuroscience Institutes

Kavli Neuroscience Institutes

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