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JARA – Jülich Aachen Research Alliance

Focusing Expertise - Shaping the Future
In the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA), RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich pool their outstanding expertise in six research sections. These common efforts open up

new research opportunities and facilitate projects that would not be attainable for either of the partners on their own. Furthermore, their attention is always focused on the grand challenges facing society.


Synapses are neural connections that enable the transmission of signals from one nerve cell to another. The human brain is well networked by approximately 100 trillion of these tiny connections. So far, a large part of the knowledge about synapses in the human brain has been based on investigations in animal models; it is questionable to what extent these can actually be transmitted. Now a team around JARA-BRAIN member Prof. Joachim Lübke has published the first quantifiable 3D model of human synapses in the cerebral cortex. The model opens up completely new possibilities and insights.

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The human brain is still the most powerful and efficient computer in the world. Multiple processes proceed in parallel and the organ requires only a very small amount of energy. Not surprisingly, modern science wants to transfer the qualities of the brain to novel computer architectures. In the NEUROTEC project, under the umbrella of JARA, scientists from RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich are working on these so-called neuromorphic computer systems.

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Within the framework of the Helmholtz School for Data Science in Life, Earth and Energy (HDS-LEE), with JARA-CSD directors Prof. Wolfgang Wiechert und Prof. Alexander Mitsos as spokespersons, the first doctoral projects were started. 15 doctoral students from different fields, institutions (DLR, MPIE, RWTH, UoC, FZJ), and nations were welcomed at the event on November 6. In HDS-LEE, they will be trained as the next generation of data scientists in an interdisciplinary environment and in close contact to the application disciplines.

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