Sean Hill

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Brief biography
Sean Hill is co-Director of Blue Brain, a Swiss national brain initiative, where he leads the Neuroinformatics division, based at the Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland. He also directs the Laboratory for the Neural Basis of Brain States at the École Poly­tech­nique Fédérale de Lau­sanne (EPFL). Dr. Hill served as the Executive Director (2011-2013) and Scientific Director (2014-2016) of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Hill has extensive experience in building and simulating large-scale models of brain circuitry and has also supervised and led research efforts exploring the principles underlying the structure and dynamics of neocortical and thalamocortical microcircuitry. He currently serves in management and advisory roles on several large-scale clinical informatics initiatives around the world. After completing his Ph.D. in computational neuroscience at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Dr. Hill held postdoctoral positions at The Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, then joined the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center where he served as the Project Manager for Computational Neuroscience at Blue Brain until his appointment at the EPFL.

Campus Biotech
Bâtiment B1
Ch. des Mines 9
CH-1202 Genève

Administrative data

Fields of expertise

Large-scale simulation, neuroinformatics, microcircuitry, neocortex, thalamus, connectome, sleep, wakefulness, integrated information, brain atlases, TMS, EEG



Reimann, M.W., Anastassiou, C.A., Perin, R., Hill, S.L., Markram, H., and Koch, C.. A Biophysically Detailed Model of Neocortical Local Field Potentials Predicts the Critical Role of Active Membrane Currents. Neuron 79, no. 2 (July 24, 2013): 375–390. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2013.05.023.

DeFelipe, J., López-Cruz, P., Benavides-Piccione, R., Bielza, C., Larrañaga, P., Anderson, S., Burkhalter, A., Cauli, B., Fairén, A., Feldmeyer, D., Fishell, G., Fitzpatrick, D., Freund, T., González-Burgos, G., Hestrin, S., Hill, S., Hof, P.R., Huang, J., Jones, E.G., Kawaguchi, Y., Kisvárday, Z., Kubota, Y., Lewis, D.A., Marín, O., Markram, H., McBain, C., Meyer, H.S., Monyer, H., Nelson, S., Rockland, K., Rossier, J., Rubenstein, J.L.R., Rudy, B., Scanziani, M., Shepherd, G.M., Sherwood, C.C., Staiger, G.F., Tamás, G., Thomson, A., Wang, Y., Yuste, R., Ascoli, G.A. (2013) New Insights in the Classification and Nomenclature of Cortical GABAergic Interneurons. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. Feb 6. doi: 10.1038/nrn3444.

Hill, S.L.*, Wang, Y.*, Riachi, I.*, Schürmann, F. and Markram, H. (2012) Statistical connectivity provides a sufficient foundation for specific functional connectivity in neocortical neural microcircuits. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202128109

Druckmann, S., Hill, S., Schürmann, F. and Markram, H., Segev, I. (2012) A Hierarchical Structure of Cortical Interneuron Electrical Diversity Revealed by Automated Statistical Analysis. Cerebral Cortex; doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs290

Khazen, G., Hill, S.L., Schürmann, F. and Markram, H. (2012) Combinatorial expression rules of ion channel genes in juvenile rat (Rattus norvegicus) neocortical neurons. PLOS One.

Ramaswamy, R., Hill, S.L., King, J.G., Schürmann, F., Wang, Y. and Markram, H. (2011) Intrinsic Morphological Diversity of Thick-tufted Layer 5 Pyramidal Neurons Ensures Robust and Invariant Properties of in silico Synaptic Connections. Journal of Physiology.

Ranjan, R., Khazen, G., Gambazzi, L., Ramaswamy, S., Hill, S., Schürmann, F. and Markram, H. (2011) Channelpedia: an integrative and interactive database for ion channels. Frontier in Neuroinformatics

Druckmann, S., Schürmann, F., Hill, S., Markram, H. and Segev, I. (2011) Effective Stimuli for Constructing Reliable Neuron Models. PLOS Computational Biology.

Hay, E., Hill, S., Schürmann, F., Markram, H., and Segev, I. (2011) Models of Neocortical Layer 5b Pyramidal Cells Capturing a Wide Range of Dendritic and Perisomatic Active Properties. PLOS Computational Biology.

Lasserre, S., Hernando, J., Hill, S., Schürmann, F., de Miguel, P., Abou Jaoudé, G. and Markram, H. (2011) A Neuron Membrane Mesh Representation for Visualization of Electrophysiological Simulations. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2 March.

Hill, S.L. (2009) Even models need their sleep (commentary). Frontiers in Neuroscience. Vol. 3: Issue 3, December, 2009.

Onkar, J., Hill, S.L. and Antognini, J. (2009) Modeling the effects of midazolam on cortical and thalamic neurons. Neuroscience Letters. Aug. 19, 2009.

Esser, S.K., Hill, S.L. and Tononi, G. (2009) Breakdown of effective connectivity during slow wave sleep: investigating the mechanism underlying a cortical gate using large-scale modeling. J. Neurophysiol. Aug. 4, 2009.

King, J.G., Hines M., Hill S.L., Goodman P.H., Markram H. and Schürmann F. (2009) A Component-Based Extension Framework for Large-Scale Parallel Simulations in NEURON. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics. doi:10.3389/neuro.11.010.2009.

Talavera, J.A., Esser, S.K., Amzica, F., Hill, S.L. and Antognini, J. (2009) Modeling the Gabaergic Action of Etomidate on the Thalamocortical System. Anesthesia and Analgesia, vol. 108 (1):160-7.

Druckmann, S., Berger, T.K., Hill, S.L., Schürmann, F., Markram, H. and Segev, I. (2008) Evaluating automated parameter constraining procedures of neuron models by experimental and surrogate data. Biological Cybernetics, vol. 99 (4-5): 371-379.

Hill, S.L., Tononi, G. and Ghilardi, M.F. (2008) Sleep improves the variability of motor performance. Brain Research Bulletin. 76:605–611.

Kozloski, J., Sfyrakis, K., Hill, S.L., Schürmann, F. and Markram, H. (2008) Identifying, tabulating, and analyzing contacts between branched neuron morphologies. IBM Journal of Research and Development. Special issue on "Applications of Massively Parallel Systems", Vol 12(1-2): 43-56. cover image

Esser, S.K., Hill, S.L. and Tononi G. (2007) Sleep homeostasis, slow waves and cortical synchronization: I. Modeling how synaptic strength determines slow wave synchrony. Sleep, Dec 1; 30(12):1617-1630.

Cirelli C., Bushey, D., Hill S.L., Huber R., Kreber, B., Ganetzky, B. and Tononi, G. (2005) Reduced sleep in Drosophila Shaker mutants. Nature, 434, 1087-1092.

Esser, S.K., Hill, S.L. and Tononi G. (2005) Modeling the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on cortical circuits. Journal of Neurophysiology, E-pub: March 23, 2005.

Hill, S.L. and Tononi G. (2005) Modeling sleep and wakefulness in the thalamocortical system. Journal of Neurophysiology, Nov 10. 93(3): 1671-1698. - Featured in Nature Neuroscience Reviews Jan 2005.

Massimini M., Huber R., Ferrarelli F., Hill, S.L. and Tononi G. (2004) The sleep slow oscillation as a traveling wave. Journal of Neuroscience, Aug 4;24(31):6862-70.

Huber, R., Hill, S.L., Holladay, C., Biesiadecki, M., Tononi, G. and Cirelli, C. (2004) Sleep homeostasis in Drosophila melanogaster. Sleep, Jun 15;27(4):628-39.

Hill, S.L. and Villa, A.E. (1997). Dynamic transitions in global network activity influenced by the balance of excitation and inhibition. Network: Computation in Neural Systems, 8(2):164–184.