Data visualization in neuroscience.

We teamed up with neuroscientists from the University of Oxford (CNCB) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (LCN) to build an interactive data visualization platform, in the form of a browser used to explore the vast ion channel model database maintained by the labs. It was an instant hit, quickly garnering acclaim from top academics.


Since 2014



Cutting-edge interaction

Saffron performed meticulous usability design in order to eloquently display and describe the database's 3,500+ ion channels. To maximize its utility to scientists, the web application's interface required a very easy-to-use facade, concealing a powerful back-end.

Sophisticated data visualization

At the heart of the project lies a custom-built force-directed graph. Every parameter was precisely tuned in an iterative review process, so that it might best represent the underlying data. Every channel attribute — response traces, animal, brain area, neuron type — found its way into the finished product.


This is what leading academics had to say about the CNCB and LCN's ICGenealogy project.

“An exemplary site that will accelerate the ability to flexibly and biophysically accurately model neurons across species, brain regions and developmental time-points.” Dr. Christoph Koch, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science
“Constructing biophysical neuron models has been a time demanding and gruelling process for the past 30 years. ICGenealogy suddenly makes it easy, convenient and even fun. It provides just about all the tools you could wish for at your finger tips, at a level of UI sophistication and user-friendliness that is simply unprecedented in our field. In one word: awesome.” Dr. Mate Lengyel, Reader in Computational Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

Multiplatform scalability

As handling a large amount of data is a requirement, we carefully considered and implemented caching strategies to improve scalability and allow development of a mobile version of the browser.

ICGenealogy launched in 2015. Since then, it has been used by countless academics and linked tightly with Yale University's popular ModelDB. Saffron is continuing work with the CNCB and LCN in order to further improve the product.