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Dr. Babak Kateb
Founding Chairman of the Board
of Directors, CEO and Scientific
Director Society for Brain Mapping &

Q&A with Babak Kateb

by Gus Iversen , Editor in Chief
The 12th Annual Congress for the Society of Brain Mapping and Therapeutics will come together on March 6-8th to discuss breakthroughs in brain, spinal chord mapping, and image guided therapy at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Babak Kateb, founding chairman of the board of directors, CEO and scientific director of the Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics, Director of National Center for NanoBioElectronics, research scientist, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, spoke to DOTmed News about what to expect at this year's meeting.

DOTmed News: Can you give us an overview of what the annual meeting of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics is all about?

Babak Kateb: So, the World Congress for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics is an annual meeting of the Society of Brain Mapping and Therapeutics. It focuses on areas of brain mapping, like imaging, genomics, proteomics, connectomics, and on the therapeutic side, covering areas for treating neurological disorders using nanotechnology, stem cell, drug and device.

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We have about 550 speakers at the convention. This is the largest convention ever organized on the topic of brain mapping. We have 110 scientific session and 10 keynote speakers.

Topics will range from disease oriented topics like brain cancer, neurological trauma, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, all the way to advanced technologies such as nano-neurosurgery, and big data in brain mapping and therapeutics, and new materials in this field, and basically stem cell and molecular genomics.

If someone asked me, "what is brain mapping?," I would compare this with a Google Map and I would say imagine you had a snapshot of Earth — that would be an MRI. Then you zoom-in down to the city, that’s brain structure, then zoom down further to highways and roads, those are brain connectomics… cars are cells, and the people in the cars are the sub-cellular level.

Thus, imaging is part of brain mapping, but it’s just one part of it. If you get a snapshot of Earth, that’s big picture. When you want to map a structure you go deeper than a snapshot.

DOTmed News: How has the annual congress grown or changed over the last twelve years?

BK: It started from a small symposium with about 10 people in collaboration with NASA 13 years ago but now and after 12 world congresses we are a large organization with its own textbook of nano-neurosurgery, its own journal and annual meetings, satellite symposia, and then a large convention with about seven to eight hundred attendees.
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