We are proud to welcome our new members. Read on to learn about their research expertise, their motivations and what they love about Zurich.
Name and Surname: Melika Payvand
Position: Assistant Professor
Institute: Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich
Research focus: My current research focuses on creating intelligent systems using innovative memory technologies that emulate the brain’s structure at different spatial and temporal scales. These systems can process sensory information across multiple time scales and adapt to changes over time. For more information on my immediate goals, please visit: https://znznews.ch/improving-personalized-wearables/
Last professional stations: Postdoc at Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich and Ph.D. at University of California Santa Barbara, USA
My motivation to do my research: The scientific and philosophical problem that fascinates me is how intelligence emerges from natural elements. Microorganisms have undergone millions of years of evolution, leading to the emergence of intelligent animals that interact with the real world and perform “computations” using organic and imperfect components. My passion lies in unraveling this structure-function relationship and incorporating it into silicon technology using novel materials.
My insider tip for Zurich: In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Zurich during the summer is to go swimming in the Limmat, while in the spring, taking a walk in the forests around Zurichberg is a must-do activity.
Contact: https://services.ini.uzh.ch/people/melika and https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Ol_9mKgAAAAJ&hl=en
First Name and Surname: Peter Rupprecht
Position: Junior Group Leader
Institute: Brain Research Institute, University Zürich
Research focus: All neurons affect the physical world and receive sensory information about it. However, they cannot touch the world as directly as, for example, our fingers since the contact between the neuron and the world is indirect, mediated by other neurons. However, how do neurons acquire knowledge about their influence and adjust their activity patterns accordingly? To investigate this question, we closely examine individual neurons in mice engaged in various behaviors, utilizing microscopy and electrophysiology.
Last professional station: Brain Research Institute, Zürich, Switzerland
My motivation to do my research: As a trained physicist, I am captivated by the intricate nature of biological systems such as the brain. Rather than simply delineating the complexities of this system, my objective is to identify the fundamental principles that underlie its functioning. I derive great satisfaction from advancing our comprehension of the natural world, not only in terms of its scope but also in terms of its depth.
My insider tip for Zurich: Embark on a delightful 5 km hike around the Käferberg. You will walk through a beautiful mixed forest and pass by the ETH-Hönggerberg campus along the way. Starting and finishing at Waid, you’ll be treated to a stunning panoramic view of Zurich that includes the lake and the alpine mountains in the distance.