Katrin Amunts is a master of the human brain. She is a German neuroscientist, and her expertise, skill, and research has allowed her to create a three-dimensional atlas mapping out the structures within the brain to allow its complicated configuration and functions to be imaged and understood microscopically. In so doing, she would dramatically improve our understanding of the human control center and advance our abilities to combat diseases and disorders such as depression, addiction, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. This construction is being called the “Big Brain.” “It works just the way we do with Google Earth, where we can also zoom in to specific cities, look at certain roads. The brain atlas is quite similar.”
Katrin Amunts is a Professor of the C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research at the University of Düsseldorf. She is Director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in INM-1 in Forschungszentrum Jülich. She is one of the most prominent neuroscientists in brain mapping in the world.
She studied medicine and biophysics at Pirogov Medical School in the Soviet Union. She earned a doctorate in neuroscience and anatomy at the Institute of Brain Research in Moscow in 1989. She later trained at the Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin and joined the C. & O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research at the University of Düsseldorf. She was a professor in Aachen University before rejoining the University of Düsseldorf in 2013. Amunts is amongst the most important researchers in neuroscience today. In the recently published list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2014, the science magazine entitled JARA-BRAIN named her as a key player.