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Croonian Lecture 2020 delivered by Professor Ed Boyden


The brain is the most complex organ in the human body and the intricate systems and interactions within enable us to sense, feel, think and do. Being able to map these networks and the billions of connections that form them is key to unlocking the secrets of the brain.

Professor Ed Boyden is Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT and professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Media Arts and Sciences, and Biological Engineering, at MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His discoveries in the emerging field of neurotechnology have revolutionised the way we analyse and repair the brain.

From expansion microscopy, which enables complex biological systems to be imaged with nanoscale precision, to optogenetics, with which individual neurons and pathways can be turned on or off using a beam of light, Professor Boyden talks about his research that led to him being awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2020. 

The award

The Croonian Medal and Lecture is the premier lecture in the biological sciences. The lectureship was conceived by William Croone FRS (PDF), one of the original Fellows of the Society. 

Professor Edward Boyden was awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2020 for his inventions that expand our understanding of the brain and allow therapeutic development including the co-invention of optogenetics, a technology that has revolutionized neurobiology.

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