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Brain simulation helps us understanding how our brain works – and developing personalized therapies for its diseases.

A human brain consists of 86 billion neurons and 150 trillion connections between them. It runs on as little energy as an LED light bulb. It would take 1,500 Google data centers (they only have 15) to simulate just one brain with molecular accuracy, costing 1 trillion dollar per year and consuming 600 terawatt hours.

Here at the Brain Simulation Section (part of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin), we have been at the forefront of network-based brain simulation, computational neuroscience and its clinical application for more than 10 years.

In collaboration with other international research centers, we have developed a way to simulate a brain even on a laptop – with reduced complexity but feasible, sufficiently accurate, scalable and already used in practical clinical applications.

We work towards our vision of providing digital copies of a person’s brain to virtually plan and test personalized treatment of brain orders, e.g. Alzheimer’s, stroke, epilepsy or tumors.

Our team is growing fast and we would be happy to welcome you, e.g. as software developer, lab manager or research assistant! Check out our current job openings or send us your speculative application!

portrait photo

Brain Simulation Section is a research center of Charité Universitätsmedizin

Latest activities

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  • Welcome to our new website!

    March 27

    After establishing the Brain Simulation Section at the Charité in 2017, we now have a brand-new website where you can find everything about our research, activities and many educational resources about brain simulation:

    Make sure to check out the vast visualization gallery where you can find free video lectures, pictures from our public MyVirtualDream events and much, much more!

    Big thanks to our longtime partners and The Virtual Brain collaborators two tribes and Codemart who designed and built this website!

  • TVB Cloud kick-off meeting

    Major new research initiative: The VirtualBrainCloud project, funded by EU Horizon 2020 program

    January 25

    The Brain Simulation Section is leading a major new research initiative together with 17 European research partners, dubbed The VirtualBrainCloud: “Exploiting the full potential of in-silico medicine research for personalized diagnostics and therapies in cloud-based environments”.

    This initiative is funded by European Commission's Horizon2020 program with 15 million Euro.

    The main goal is to create a cloud-based brain simulation platform that integrates data from many centers and in the future can serve as clinical decision engine for patients with neurodegenerative disease.

    The consortium took up work in December 2018 and held the kick-off event on January 25th at Charité Univeristätsmedizin Berlin.

    You can follow the project's activities on its dedicated Twitter account @TVB_cloud!

    Participating institutions and principal investigators

    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin: Petra Ritter
    • Université d’Aix Marseille: Viktor Jirsa
    • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.: Martin Hofmann-Apitius
    • The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford: Simon Lovestone, Alejo Nevado-Holgad
    • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH: Simon Eickhoff, Thomas Lippert
    • Institut de Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière: Jean-Christophe Corvol, Stanley Durrleman
    • Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique: Bertrand Thirion
    • Fundacio Institut de Bioenginyera de Catalunia: Paul Verschure
    • Helsinki University: Matias & Satu Palva
    • University of Genova: Gabriele Arnulfo
    • University Madrid: Fernando Maestu
    • Codebox Computer-Dienste GmbH: Jochen Mersmann
    • Codemart: Lia Domide
    • Eodyne Systems S.L.: Pedro Omedas
    • Universität Wien: Nikolaus Forgó
    • tp21 GmbH: Petra Zalud
    • Alzheimer Europe: Jean Georges

  • TVB_10k_downloads_LARGE.jpg

    The Virtual Brain celebrates its 10,000th download!

    January 10

    The Virtual Brain, one of the leading open source neuroscience platforms is celebrating its 10,000th download!

    This software is at the heart of the Brain Simulation Section's research activities. The TVB consortium was founded by Viktor Jirsa (AMU, Marseille), Randy McIntosh (Baycrest, Toronto) and the head of the Brain Simulation Section, Prof. Dr. Petra Ritter.

    Read all about how this revolutionary, large-scale brain simulation software was developed on the TVB website!

  • Petra Ritter professorship

    Dr. Petra Ritter appointed lifetime Johanna Quandt professorship for brain simulation

    October 1

    On October 1, 2017, Dr. Petra Ritter assumed the position of BIH Johanna Quandt Professor for Brain Simulation at Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

    This W2 professorship is funded by Stiftung Charité.

    Learn more in the joint press release by Berlin Institute of Health and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Meet our team

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  • TVB Node#9 Workshop in Warsaw



    Warsaw, Poland

    Get up to speed about the fundamental principles of full brain network modeling using the open-source neuroinformatics platform The Virtual Brain (TVB).

    The Berlin team is organizing the TVB Node#9 workshop in Warsaw on August 31st, 2019. This new node is an official training course of Neuroinformatics 2019 that holds on September 1-2, also in Warsaw.

    This workshop is dedicated to a theoretical and practical understanding of large-scale brain network modeling using the open-source neuroinformatics platform The Virtual Brain (TVB).

    You can find more informations on the event official webpage.

    Workshop format

    • Lectures
    • Hands-on tutorials

    Workshop program overview

    • Architecture of TVB
    • Theoretical background of large-scale brain network modeling

    • Interacting with TVB using GUI and/or CLI
    • Personalization pipeline
    • Modeling resting-state networks, brain disorder, stimulation, mouse brain activity, etc.


    Please make sure to register early as we only offer limited seats to ensure there are enough tutors for you.


    If you need more details about this TVB Node workshop, please contact the local organizer Julie Courtiol

  • CNS*2019 Workshop in Barcelona



    Barcelona, Spain

    The workshop will introduce the VirtualBrainCloud – a EU project – that merges existing software tools and platforms to provide access to high quality clinical multi-disciplinary data in order to integrate them via computational modeling, and make them useful in clinical practice.

    At the core of this project is The Virtual Brain (TVB) large-scale simulation platform. This simulation environment allows the biologically realistic modeling of network dynamics of human and mouse brain using connectome-based approaches across different brain scales: from cellular to whole-brain level. This computational modeling system is tailored to the individual, and bridges multiple scales to identify key mechanisms that predict disease progression and serves as Precision Decision Support System.

    The workshop will provide insight in the interdisciplinary work and related challenges that range from computational and clinical neuroscience to infrastructure, and legal and ethical matters. Our international speakers team, from EU and Canada, comprises a balanced composition of genders and seniority levels.

    The workshop will be held as a part of the CNS*2019 meeting in Barcelona, Spain.



    • Hannelore Aerts, Ghent University, Belgium
    • Anastasia Brovkin, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
    • Julie Courtiol, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
    • Sumit Madan, Fraunhofer SCAI, Germany
    • Randy McIntosh, University of Toronto, Canada
    • Alexander Peyser,Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
    • Oleksandr Popovyh, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
    • Hugo Richard, Paris-Saclay University, Paris, France
    • Mariana Rissetto, University of Vienna, Austria
    • Petra Ritter, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
    • Gianluca Susi, Technical University of Madrid, Spain & University of Rome "Tor Vergara", Italy
    • Riccardo Zucca, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain


    The workshop consists of two half-day sessions:

    See at the bottom of the page to download the program and full abstracts as PDF file.

    Morning session, July 16, Room S3

    • 09:30 - 10:00

      The Virtual Brain simulation platform and Virtual Brain Cloud

      Petra Ritter

    • 10:00 - 10:30

      Modeling brain dynamics in brain tumor patients

      Hannelore Aerts

    • 10:30 - 11:00

      Ethical and legal aspects of personalized brain simulation and data sharing

      Mariana Rissetto

    • 11:00 - 11:30

      Coffee break

    • 11:30 - 12:00

      Terminologies, ontologies and data curation

      Sumit Madan

    • 12:00 - 12:30

      Cloud and HPC solutions

      Alexander Peyser

    • 12.30 - 13.00

      Enriching big data analytics by computational modeling

      Oleksandr Popovyh

    Afternoon session, July 17, Room S2

    • 14:50 - 15:20

      BrainX3: a tool for multi-modal data integration, analysis, visualization and interaction

      Riccardo Zucca

    • 15:20 - 15:50

      Machine-learning tools for large-scale data

      Hugo Richard

    • 15:50 - 16:20

      Linking spiking neural networks to TVB

      Gianluca Susi

    • 16:20 - 16:50

      Coffee break

    • 16.50 - 17.20

    Interfacing TVB with a digital atlas

    Anastasia Brovkin

    • 17:20 - 17:50

      The Virtual Epileptic Patient

      Julie Courtiol

    • 17:50 - 18:20

      The Neurodegenerative Virtual Brain

      Randy McIntosh

    • 18:20 - 18:30

      Final discussion & closing remarks


    The workshop will be held at the Historical Building of the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), which is located downtown Barcelona.


    Registration to the VirtualBrainCloud workshop is required for attending the 2 sessions. Please see the CNS*2019 registration webpage.

    Note that attendees registered for the main meeting only can attend the workshop session being held on July 16th.

  • Long Night of the Sciences Berlin 2019



    Berlin, Germany

    The Long Night of the Sciences (LNDW) is an annual event across all Berlin and Potsdam-Telegrafenberg, celebrating the sciences with open doors to many scientific institutions and museums, hosting a wide range of experiences. This year the LNDW will be held on June 15th from 5pm until midnight.

    Like in the past two years, the Brain Simulation Section is joining to present educational and fun experiments and lectures, showcasing how practical brain simulation can improve our lives.

    Want to become a part of the smartest night of the year?

    Tickets can be purchased from 20th May on at all S-Bahn and BVG ticket machines and points-of-sale. During the Long Night of the Sciences itself, box office will be set up at the scientific institution.

    Tickets for the Long Night can also be purchased online on the event official website or at

    Where to find us?

    Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
    Campus Charité Mitte
    CharitéCrossOver-Gebäude, Eingang Schumannstraße 20/21,
    auf dem Campus Virchowweg 6, 10117 Berlin


    • BrainModes
      With BrainModes, view real time 3D models of your brain, and gain deeper insight into how your brain works. And for the first time, experience immersive exploration of the brain in virtual reality!

    Booth: from 17.00
    Where: Hall

    Booth VR: from 17.00
    Where: Front of auditorium

    • The Virtual Brain
      With The Virtual Brain, come discover the neuroinformatics platform that allows you to simulate the brain function of healthy people and patients on the computer.

    Booth: from 17.00
    Where: Hall

    Lecture: from 17.00, every 60 min, duration: 30 min
    Where: Auditorium

    • My Virtual Dream
      With My Virtual Dream, come get to know your brain states and control them in collective neurofeedback! My Virtual Dream is a kind of collective brain-controlled computer game. Using brain-computer interfaces, your brain signals are measured and presented audiovisually as dream scenarios.

    Workshop: from 17.30, every 60 min, duration: 25 min
    Where: Auditorium

    We hope you’ll stop by and visit us at the CCO! We look forward to seeing you.

  • Berliner Hoffest 2019



    City Hall - Rathausstraße 15, 10178 Berlin

    The Berliner Hoffest is an annual event in Berlin celebrating the achievements of Berlin. This year there will be an exhibition outside City Hall featuring a wide variety of installations celebrating the 30th year since the Berlin Wall fell.

    The Brain Simulation Unit will be exhibiting along side The Berlin Institute of Health(BIH), show casing our real time brain visualisations and brain simulation work with The Virtual Brain.