The Institute of Experimental Medicine (IEM), founded in 1952, is dedicated exclusively to basic biomedical research in the field of neuroscience. This includes studies on neurotransmission, learning and memory, neuronal development, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, aggressive behaviors, ischemic and epileptic brain damage, neurodegenerative disorders and the central and peripheral control of hormone secretion. The research teams of the Institute employ multidisciplinary approaches: traditional, well-established methodologies (e.g. anatomy, electrophysiology, neurochemistry and pharmacology) are combined with novel approaches in cellular and molecular biology such as the use of transgenic animals with in vivo calcium imaging and optogenetics, as well as with super-resolution microscopy, patch clamp, 2-photon microscopy, calcium imaging techniques, behavioral studies, advanced data analysis, modeling and simulation methods. The IEM is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate training as part of a close collaboration with three universities in Budapest. In 2000, the Institute was ranked second from 260 candidates in a competition for the “Centre of Excellence” title and won this recognition for three years by the decision of independent experts of the European Commission.
Human Brain Project (2013-2023)
The Human Brain Project (HBP) is one of the Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship projects of the European Union. The HBP is building a research infrastructure to help advance neuroscience, medicine, and computing. It involves more than 100 universities, teaching hospitals, and research centers across Europe. IEM has contributed in several ways to the HBP. A large database of anatomical and physiological measurements from various hippocampal cell types was established by the laboratory of Tamás Freund. Szabolcs Káli led an international team to construct and simulate data-driven models of hippocampal cells and circuits. The group of Gábor Nyíri examines samples of human cortical tissue using scanning electron microscopy to reveal the fine structure of human neurons.
Hungarian Brain Research Program (2013-2017, 2017-2021)
The Hungarian Brain Research Program (HBRP) is a major funding initiative of the Hungarian government with the aim of supporting basic and clinical research in neuroscience. The two phases of the project supported the establishment and operation of high-quality research groups at universities and research institutes in Hungary. Several laboratories of IEM participate in the HBRP, and the president of the HBRP is the former director of IEM, the Brain Prize-winning neuroscientist Tamás Freund.