Newsletter April 2012

24 April 2012.
Members of the Indian National Node for NeuroInformatics (INNNI) of the International Neuroinformatics Coordination Facility (INCF).

Dear colleagues,
    This is the first of the INNNI newsletters to keep you posted on national and international neuroinformatics developments.

    I am just back from a very interesting meeting on neuroinformatics efforts around the world. This meeting was at the INCF HQ in Stockholm, Sweden
from April 17 to 20.

The meeting had three components:
1. The General Body meeting, where the national representatives to the INCF discuss INCF policy matters
2. The  Nodes meeting, at which each nation presents its activities and shares ideas and forges collaborations
3. The Training Committee meeting, which encourages neuroinformatics training efforts around the world.

We had hoped that Dr. Sitabhra Sinha could come to the Nodes meeting on behalf of the India node, specially as he is co-organiser for the forthcoming INNNI meeting from Nov. 5-7, but he could not come due to last-minute family health concerns. So I represented the India node, as I was already going for items 1 and 3.

The GB meeting saw reporting of the various activities of the INCF, and I refer you to the Annual Report http://www.incf.org/about/publications/annual-reports for details.

The INCF Training Committee http://www.incf.org/programs/training-committee funds new and innovative short courses in neuroinformatics around the world. While we have just closed the applications for courses to be held in 2013, it may be worth keeping in mind to apply later this year if any node members would like to set up a course in 2014.

The Nodes meeting was very interesting scientifically and for all of our diverse activities. I presented Sitabhra's poster, which you can look at here:
http://innni.ncbs.res.in/files/INCF_2012_Poster.ppt
At this meeting, for the first time, many of the nodes presented live computer demos of their research, some of which were very impressive. For example, the Japan node presented a web-based system which allows one to load and run models from the ModelDB database, all within a browser. In coming meetings I feel it will be very good to present demos for the Indian node. For example, my group would like to demonstrate the MOOSE simulator, and we have the Computational Worm project, Neuroimaging project, and many others.

The most important message I would like to convey from the nodes meeting is that we as a node have some very exciting projects, which are easily competitive with the best that were presented by other countries. We really need to present our work with the confidence and enthusiasm that our international colleagues brought. To this end, we have already begun to update our web page based on material from the India node poster. I request all of you to send a nice image with a very brief writeup of your work to post on the INNNI projects page:
http://innni.ncbs.res.in/goals_and_projects

The upcoming Neuroinformatics Congress in Munich:
http://www.neuroinformatics2012.org/
will be preceded by a brief Nodes meeting and this may be worth planning for.

There is travel support for various neuroinformatics events here:
http://www.incf.org/community/travel-grants

Additionally, the INCF funds attendance of the April nodes meeting by one person from each national node, and we should rotate this opportunity among INNNI members. Closely related to this, there are numerous other projects around the world that would be obvious candidates for collaborations between nodes. I urge you to browse through the different node web pages at http://www.incf.org/about/who-we-are/nodes and see who is working on your favorite topics.

To wrap up, here is a quick checklist of key upcoming events:

Abstract Submission for 5th INCF Congress of Neuroinformatics (extended to 1 May): http://neuroinformatics2012.org/abstracts

Indian Neuroinformatics and Computational Neuroscience Summer Course from 4-12 June,2012:
http://innni.ncbs.res.in/indian_neuroinformatics_and_computational_neuro...

Neuroinformatics of sensory-motor integration: modeling and imaging from the worm to the human nervous system, 5-7 November 2012, in Chennai
http://innni.ncbs.res.in/innni_node_meeting_and_incf_workshop_2012

Best wishes,
    Upinder S. Bhalla