Nobel Prize Speaker Edvard Moser

Edvard Moser

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014; Neuroscientist

Edvard Moser, a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist and Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, was awarded in 2014 for his discovery of grid cells and their role in understanding location and self-positioning in the brain. He is known for his expertise in brain diseases, artificial intelligence, and his ability to communicate complex science in simple language. In 2018, he made further breakthroughs on how the brain processes time and received the Order of St. Olav's Grand Cross.

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    Edvard Moser biography

    Keynote speaker Edvard Moser received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014. The Nobel Prize was awarded to him along with John O’Keefe and May-Britt Moser. Edvard obtained the prize thanks to his discovery of grid cells. These are cells located in the brain and help humans and animals understand where they are.

    Edvard is the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience’s Director and Professor of Neuroscience. His main role is leading the research on the interaction between thousands of neurons that result in higher brain functions. Edvard specifically focuses on how the brain produces location memories as well as the sense of location.

    Science speaker Edvard Moser discovered grid cells together with May-Britt. These cells have contributed to new ideas about how the brain calculates self-position.

    Edvard studied at the University of Oslo, as well as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. In 2002 he founded the Centre for the Biology of Memory, while in 2007 he became the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience’s Director.

    Edvard Moser has been awarded a variety of scientific awards. In 2014, he received the Nobel Prize, while continuously making new discoveries on how the brain works.

    Professor Moser has spoken at a variety of science festivals, in front of audiences of different backgrounds. One of his greatest skills is the ability to explain complex science in simple language. He has participated in numerous brain science-related international panel discussions, including artificial intelligence.

    Edvard is a pioneer when it comes to providing extensive details on topics such as brain disease and artificial intelligence. In 2018,  Edvard Moser discovered a neural network capable of expressing the sense of time through memories and experiences found in the lateral entorhinal cortex. During that same year, he obtained the Order of St. Olav’s Grand Cross.

    Edvard Moser Speaking Videos

    Edvard Moser - Grid cells and the entorhinal map of space
    Edvard Moser - Grid Cells and the Brain's Spatial Mapping System

    Edvard Moser Keynote Topics

    The ability to map space is critical to survival. Without it, we would not find food or partners, or we would be eaten by predators. Neural systems for finding one´s way thus exist in all animals. Scientists are now beginning to understand how the brain deals with space. In mammals, space is mapped by complex neural networks in a pair of brain areas called the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. These brain areas contain a variety of specialized cell types, including grid cells, which were discovered in my lab in 2005. Grid cells provide the brain with a GPS-like coordinate system that we can use to find our way. I will show how space is mapped by grid cells as well as other specialized cells, and how these cells work together to enable both navigation and memory. The lecture will illustrate for a broad audience how science is beginning to unravel some of the most complex intellectual functions of the brain.

    One of the most devastating diseases in modern societies is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 20% of the population above 80-85 years of age. Among its core symptoms is a gradual loss of the ability to find one’s way as well as a serious deficit in key types of memory. This lecture will focus on the brain areas that are first affected in most instances of Alzheimer’s disease – brain areas that are critical to the sense of space as well as memory. I will show that these brain areas contain specialized cells enabling the formation of an internal map of space that we use to find our way and to form memories of places where events take place. I will discuss mechanisms of memory formation and demonstrate how studies of this brain system may put us on the track of the pathological mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease.

    In this lecture, I will reflect on the ingredients of a successful research environment- ingredients that may be common to creative environments in many settings. I will take as a starting point my own experiences as a scientist. In 2014 I shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology with John O’Keefe and May-Britt Moser, 19 years after my PhD and 18 years after accepting a faculty position at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – traditionally an engineering school with no neuroscience department and only a recently started Faculty of Medicine. I will tell the story of how one of the most exciting adventures in neuroscience became possible and use the opportunity to reflect on the ingredients of successful research and entrepreneurship, many of which may apply far beyond the scientific community.

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