- Jon Kaas, Vanderbilt University, USA
. Barbara Martin, honorary co-collaborator
"How would you like to know how many neurons different brains are made of? Would this indeed be useful information?", Suzana asked Jon in a meeting in 2004, to which he replied something like "That's what we've been after all along, but we don't know how to get that information". Our collaboration with Jon Kaas's laboratory started in 2006, right after our method was published. Since then, we've been studying different aspects of how primate brains scale - with six studies already published, and many more to come.
- Paul Manger, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Elephants, cetaceans and artiodactyls have large brains, sometimes larger and more convoluted than human brains. How do they compare? What scaling rules apply to artiodactyls and to cetaceans, the largest brains a live, and how are they different or similar to rodents, primates and insectivores? We paired up with Paul Manger's lab in 2009 to examine these issues.
- Graziano Fiorito, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dorn, Naples, Italy
Octopusses are animals that learn rapidly, can do so by observation, have fairly complex behaviors, a body plan that is entirely different from the vertebrate plan, and a fairly large brain that keeps growing over life. Does a larger brain accompany the enlargement of the body with a growing number of neurons, or do the cells only get bigger? Do "smarter" individuals have larger numbers of neurons? These are issues we are working on since 2010.
- James Bower, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Suzana was introduced to Jim by a common friend, Karl Herrup, at a Neuroscience meeting in 2007, when Jim taught her his subversive views on cerebellar structure and function. He was interested in knowing how many granule cells the brains of different cold-blooded animals had to every Purkinje cell; she told him "I can tell you that, just send me the brains". And so it is that we are collaborating on the comparative neuroanatomy of the cerebellum.
- Pavel Nemec, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
How do bird brains compare to mammalian brains? Now we know - and the results should be available soon.
- Roberto Lent, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Started in 2003, this was the collaboration that launched the Isotropic Fractionator - thanks to Roberto's trust in Suzana's (mildly) crazy hunch that turning brains into mush would be an efficient way to figure out how many cells they were made of. We collaborated on comparative studies of rodent brains; on rat postnatal development; and on the quantitative analysis of the human brain.
- Ken Catania, Vanderbilt University, USA
. Diana Sarko, postdoctoral fellow
. Duncan Leitch, Ph.D. student
Ken is master of unusual small mammals, and became interested in investigating the cellular rules that apply to scaling the brain of the smallest living mammals: insectivores.
How are neurons distributed across anatomically defined cortical areas? These are issues that we started addressing in 2011 with a combination of the morphological and quantitative methods used in our labs and led to a study on the numbers of neurons in the functional areas of the mouse cortex published in 2013.