Steven Laureys, MD PhD, is director of the Coma Science Group at the Neurology Department and Cyclotron Research Centre of the University Hospital and University of Li ge, Belgium. He is research director at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research and clinical professor and board-certified in neurology and in palliative medicine. His team studies the neural basis of human consciousness (coma, anesthesia, hypnosis and sleep). He assesses the recovery of neurological disability and neuronal plasticity in acquired brain injury (e.g., comatose, "vegetative /unresponsive, minimally conscious and locked-in syndromes) confronting clinical expertise and behavioral evaluation with multimodal neuroimaging (positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) and electrophysiology studies (electroencephalography coupled to transcranial magnetic stimulation) and also deals with the ethical implications of this translational clinical research. He is chair of the World Federation of Neurology Applied Research Group on Coma and the European Academy of Neurology Subcommittee on Disorders of Consciousness. He is recipient of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award, the William James Prize (Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness) and the Blaise Pascal Medal of Medicine of the European Academy of Sciences. He has written 4 books and over 300 scientific papers on the subject of disorders of consciousness (H-index 65). Giulio Tononi, MD PhD is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. He is the director of the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin, which focuses on the function of sleep and the nature of consciousness. Together with his collaborators, he has been developing and testing a comprehensive hypothesis on the function of sleep, the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis. Research on consciousness has led to the integrated information theory, which tries to account for what consciousness is, how it can be measured, and how it is realized in the brain.He received the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, the John W. Severinghaus Award, the Pisa Sleep Award and he holds the David P. White Chair in Sleep Medicine, as well as a Distinguished Professor in Consciousness Science.