Speaker and Discussant Bios
Churchland, AnneCategory: Discussant, Workshop 1
Anne Churchland is a Professor in Neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She began her independent research career at Cold Spring Harbor in 2010. The focus of her laboratory is understanding how auditory and visual stimuli are processed by the brain and used to guide decision-making. She combines experimental work with theoretical analysis approaches to make inroads into understanding these decisions. She is also co-founder and executive board member of the International Brain Laboratory, is on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and was a member of the BRAIN2.0 Working Group.
da Costa, NunoCategory: Speaker, Workshop 2
Nuno Maçarico da Costa is an Associate Investigator in the Neural Coding department. He co-leads the EM connectomics project in its efforts map the wiring diagram of the neocortex and its functional connectivity. Nuno graduated in Biology from the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon. Afterwards he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he studied the interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in rats. After this period, Nuno returned to Portugal and joined the Doctoral Program in Biology and Medicine of the Gulbenkian Foundation. He performed his doctoral research in the Institute of Neuroinformatics in Zurich and obtained a PhD degree in Natural Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. During his PhD he described the fine structural detail of the thalamocortical pathway to cat visual cortex using light and electron correlated microscopy.
Dorkenwald, SvenCategory: Speaker, Workshop 5
Sven Dorkenwald is currently a PhD student in the Seung Lab at Princeton University. In hisPhD he is working onbridging the gap between building connectomics datasets and theiranalysis by developing systems, infrastructure and machine learning methods. Together withcollaborators at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Sven developed a proofreading andannotation infrastructure that has been used to host four connectomics datasets and is usedto run FlyWire. FlyWire.ai is an online community for proofreading neural circuits in a wholefly brain based on the FAFB EM dataset.
Dulac, CatherineCategory: Speaker, Workshop 1
Dr. Dulac is the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Lee and Ezpeleta Professor of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.
Catherine Dulac wants to understand the molecular, neuronal, and circuit basis of instinctive social behaviors. Dulac and her team apply molecular, genetic, and optical techniques in their investigations of the social brain, using the mouse as a model organism. Some of the team’s projects include identifying: the neuronal circuits underlying pheromone signaling in mating behaviors; the circuits underlying parental behavior and pup-directed aggression based on the animal’s sex and physiological state; the role of the amygdala in social and defensive behavior; and genomic imprinting in the developing and adult mouse brain.
Dyer, EvaCategory: Speaker, Workshop 5
Eva Dyer is an Assistant Professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Dr. Dyer works at the intersection of neuroscience and machine learning, developing machine learning approaches to interpret complex neuroscience datasets, and designing new machine intelligence architectures inspired by the organization and function of biological brains. Dr. Dyer completed all of her degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering, obtaining a Ph.D. and M.S. from Rice University, and a B.S. from the University of Miami. She is the recipient of a Sloan Fellowship in Neuroscience, an NSF CISE Research Initiation Initiative Award, an Allen Institute for Brain Science Next Generation Leader Award, and was recently awarded a McKnight Award for Technological Innovations in Neuroscience.
Ellisman, MarkCategory: Speaker, Town Hall, Workshop 3
Dr. Ellisman is a Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences at the UCSD School of Medicine, joining the Department of Neurosciences in 1977. Trained in neurophysiology as well as molecular and cellular biology, he began his career working on ion channels, progressing to build a broad research program on molecular structure and function of neurons and glia, in both health and disease. With his close colleague Roger Y. Tsien he developed probe systems for correlated light and electron microscopy, enabling studies of the dynamics of the nervous system across spatial and temporal scales, tools used by many to advance understanding of complex biological processes. In 1988 he created the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR), an internationally acclaimed technology development center and shared research resource supported by the NIH. His scientific contributions include development of 3D EM, allowing the first descriptions of the neuronal cytoskeleton and mapping of the neurons internal membrane systems, that astrocytes do not overlap their domains and the surprise finding of “transmitophagy” – establishing that neurons outsource mitophagy to neighboring astrocytes. He and his team conceived and implemented advanced light and electron microscope designs; including the invention of direct electron detection cameras for EM, which now propel CryoEM as a structural biology tool. While studying with Keith R. Porter in the early 1970’s, Ellisman imagined that advances in microscopy methods would enable direct observation and quantification of the molecular constituents that underlie cell biological processes, such as ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors and synaptic plasticity. Over the next 4 decades he and his group at UCSD proceeded to develop and disseminate methods to directly visualize molecular architecture at synapses, biochemically characterize, visualize and localize voltage-gated channels, describe new Ca-activated Ca channels of the ER in heart and brain as well as determine the 3D form, composition and connected nature of the entire neuronal internal membrane system. Recent application of these methods with Salk colleagues allowed determination of the higher order structure of chromatin in situ. Current activities focus on basic mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease processes, where data obtained by the use of new probes and advanced multiscale and multimodal imaging can be expected to provide important new understanding.
Engert, FlorianCategory: Speaker, Workshop 1
Florian Engert received his Ph.D. in physics from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich 1997. He spent the following two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Munich, followed by two more years as a postdoc, first at the University of California. San Diego, and then at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2002, he accepted a position as assistant professor at Harvard University, where he received tenure and was promoted to full professor in 2009.
Fairhall, AdrienneCategory: Discussant, Workshop 1, Workshop 4
Adrienne holds a first class honors degree in theoretical physics, working with Bob Dewar in plasma physics, from ANU in Canberra, Australia and completed her PhD in physics at the Weizmann Institute, with Itamar Procaccia working on turbulence, in 1998. She moved into neuroscience research as a postdoc with Bill Bialek at NEC Research Institute in Princeton, then with Michael Berry at Princeton University. She joined the faculty of UW’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics in 2004 and became a co-director of the WRF Institute for Neuroengineering in 2014. With Eric Shea-Brown, she co-directs the Computational Neuroscience Center’s research and educational program at UW.
Fee, MichaleCategory: Speaker, Workshop 1
Michale Fee joined the McGovern Institute in 2003 and is currently the Glen V. and Phyllis F. Dorflinger Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He received his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1992. Before moving to MIT, he was a principal investigator in the Biological Computation Research Department at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey.
Ferrier, NicolaCategory: Speaker, Town Hall, Workshop 4
Nicola Ferrier received her doctorate from Harvard University in 1992. After postdoctoral fellowships at Oxford University and Harvard, she joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison in 1996. She became an associate professor in 2003 and professor in 2009. She received the NSF CAREER award (1997) and the UW Vilas Associates Professorship (1999) and the UW Honored Instructor Award (2009). She joined the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne in 2013.
Ferrier’s research interests are in the use of computer vision (digital images) to control robots, machinery, and devices, with applications as diverse as medical systems, manufacturing, and projects that facilitate “scientific discovery” (such as her recent project using machine vision and robotics for plant phenotype studies).
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