Read article
Brain Preservation Breakthrough Could Usher in a New Era in Cryonics
Read article
A Mammal's Brain Has Been Cryonically Preserved and Recovered
Read article
News & Press
Our Team
We currently need help with developing tissue staining protocols for richer connectome imaging. We also are starting to develop a computational neuroscience program. If you are an interested research institution, or are interested in joining our engineering department, please get in touch here!
Robert comes from a background of artificial intelligence at MIT, where he studied under Marvin Minsky and Patrick Winston. After completing an award winning master’s thesis on embodied cognition, he turned his sights to the problem of cognitive science. He realized that it would be incredibly hard to fully scan all the information in a human brain, especially the connectome, but he did realize that locking all the structures of the brain in place for long term storage might be possible, by marrying ideas from two schools of thought- some from the field of cryobiology, and others from the field of connectomics in neuroscience. After getting up to speed with the state of the art, he developed with other a novel way to preserve brains, and won a prize in 2016. Soon after, he started Nectome with Michael to further this research and help realize the potential created by a robust brain preservation technology.
Robert   |   Co-founder
At MIT, Michael was always interested in learning how to build thinking machines: he sought to understand at every level, from the physics of how transistors worked, to how to arrange transistors to create a computer processor, to how to design software that transformed that processed silicon into a machine able to do increasingly complex things. Afterwards, he worked on the first core libraries for what would later become Amazon Alexa, in the process building a system that understood words from sounds. Seeking the startup experience, he worked at Zulip, then at Dropbox when Zulip was acquired. At Nectome, he’s excited to be more directly contributing back to the field of teaching silicon machine how to think like human brains.
Michael   |   Co-founder
1990 - 2003
The Human Genome Project sequences the entire human genome
The National Institutes of Health awards $40 million in grants to map the human brain's connections.
President Barack Obama announces the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative that was tasked to map the dynamics of neuron activity in mice and other animals and eventually the human brain.
The European Commission awards neuroscientist Henry Markram $1.3 billion to pursue building a simulation of the human brain.
Nectome wins the Brain Preservation Foundation’s Small Mammal prize for preserving every synaptic structure in a rabbit brain.
Nectome is awarded an NIH STTR grant to work with MIT to improve the imaging technologies used in connectomics.
Nectome’s revolutionary tools for preservation and study of the connectome help unlock a new era of neuroscience.
Nectome develops a robust preservation protocol for human use, and demonstrates perfect connectome preservation in a human brain in a research context.
A high-level bit of memory is extracted from a preserved mouse brain.
Neuroscientists develop increasingly scalable methods to examine networks of neurons and the first 10,000 neuron network is densely reconstructed.
Using brain organoids, a biological neural network is fully characterized and simulated.
Our research
Our process of vitrifixation (also known as Aldehyde-Stabilized Cryopreservation) has won the Brain Preservation Prize for preserving a whole rabbit connectome, and we are currently hard at work to scale our preservation process to larger brains.
Our Mission
Our mission is to preserve your brain well enough to keep all its memories intact: from that great chapter of your favorite book to the feeling of cold winter air, baking an apple pie, or having dinner with your friends and family. If memories can truly be preserved by a sufficiently good brain banking technique, we believe that within the century it could become feasible to digitize your preserved brain and use that information to recreate your mind. How close are we to this possibility? Currently, we can preserve the connectomes of animal brains and are working on extending our techniques to human brains in a research context. This is an important first step towards the development of a verified memory preservation protocol, as the connectome plays a vital role in memory storage.
Connectome: the map to your memories.
The connectome is all the connections called synapses between neurons in your brain. Researchers are now learning to manipulate individual memories, building advanced brain prosthetics, and reverse-engineering the brain.
Reponse to recent press
Vitrifixation today is a powerful research tool, but needs more research and development before anyone considers applying it in a context other than research. Additional tests for various kinds of efficacy beyond ultrastructure preservation (including preservation of proteomic and genomic information) should be completed and will provide critical information on vitrifixation’s capabilities. Vitrifixation, also known as ASC, has been demonstrated to preserve the connectomes of animals, a promising first step towards demonstrating efficacy of connectome preservation in humans. Vitrifixation’s efficacy at preserving biomolecules will be studied in the future. Once the areas of effectiveness of vitrifixation are known, the techniques, like all new surgical techniques, need be reviewed by both the medical and scientific community. Feedback from neuroscientists and thoughtful discussion from medical ethicists must be incorporated. We believe that clinical human brain preservation has immense potential to benefit humanity, but only if it is developed in the light, with input from medical and neuroscience experts. We believe that rushing to apply vitrification today would be extremely irresponsible and hurt eventual adoption of a validated protocol.
Learn more