lab sculpture created by Steve Lohman

 

Postdoctoral ScholarsGraduate Students
Mark Schnitzer
Principal Investigator
CONTACT CURRICULUM VITAE

Mark Schnitzer is Professor of Biology and Applied Physics and is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research concerns the innovation of novel optical imaging technologies and their use in the pursuit of understanding neural circuits. The Schnitzer lab has invented two forms of fiber-optic imaging, one- and two-photon fluorescence microendoscopy, which enable minimally invasive imaging of cells in deep brain tissues. The lab is further developing microendoscopy technology, studying how experience or environment alters neuronal properties, and exploring two different clinical applications. The group has also developed two complementary approaches to imaging neuronal and astrocytic dynamics in awake behaving animals. Much research focuses on cerebellum-dependent forms of motor learning. By combining imaging, electrophysiological, behavioral, and computational approaches, the lab seeks to understand cerebellar dynamics underlying learning, memory, and forgetting. Further work in the lab concerns neural circuitry in other mammalian brain areas such as hippocampus and neocortex, as well as the neural circuitry of Drosophila.

Annette Lewis
Scientific Project Manager
CONTACT  

After completing postdoctoral research in neuroscience at Stanford and Genentech, Inc., I worked as a scientist and scientific manager at Entelos, Inc., working closely with both biologists and engineers to build computer based models of disease, including asthma and other inflammatory diseases. I have returned to Stanford to apply principles of scientific management to the work in the Schnitzer lab, where innovation of new brain imaging modalities involves detailed planning and coordination between several personnel with distinct areas of expertise. I also help coordinate our relationships with scientific corporations seeking to translate our inventions into the marketplace.

Ali Cetin
Senior Research Scientist
CONTACT  

Brain circuits comprise vast numbers of intricately interconnected neurons with various molecular, anatomical and physiological identities. To understand the roles of these building blocks, it is critical to develop spatio-temporally precise tools to enable neuronal subtype specific analyses with single cell precision. My focus is to develop and use light-inducible genomic modification techniques termed optogenomics for detailed analyses of individual neurons during mouse behavior. My overall aim is to link the functional identities of behaviorally relevant neurons with their morphological, connectional and molecular profiles.

Cheng Huang
Research Scientist
CONTACT  

As a graduate student with Dr. Yi Zhong at Tsinghua University, I studied the molecular and cellular basis of olfactory long-term memory in Drosophila. In the Schnitzer lab, I am using a variety of approaches to dissect the neural circuitry underlying adaptive behavior of Drosophila. I am also involved in the effort to create massively parallel, high-throughput brain imaging technologies.

Tony Hyun Kim
Research Specialist III, HHMI
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I am motivated by the possibility of uncovering hitherto unknown computational structures and concepts by careful experimental work in neuroscience. During my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, I developed novel optical technologies and applied them to the study of distributed brain circuits in behaving animal subjects. My current research combines multiple optical techniques, detailed studies of animal behavior, and quantitative modeling of circuits, with the aim of rigorously characterizing computational processes in the live brain.

Jane Li
Life Science Research Assistant
CONTACT  

I support the laboratory through a variety of research activities involving histology, circuit tracing, genotyping, husbandry, and surgery.

Thomas Rogerson
Research Scientist
CONTACT  

Memories are often constructed from associations between diverse pieces of information that have no intrinsic connection. By studying how disparate pieces of information are stored in relation to each other, I hope to shed light on the mechanisms by which memories are linked in the mammalian brain. This will facilitate our understanding of how higher order knowledge is extracted from multiple memories.

Albert Tsao
Research Scientist
CONTACT  

I performed my Ph.D. research at the Kavli Institute in Norway with Edvard and May-Britt Moser. My present research examines how ideas and insights arise in the brain by using large-scale optical recordings to track the dynamics of large populations of neurons in behaving animals.

Yanping Zhang
Research Technician III, HHMI
CONTACT  

I have more than ten years experience in molecular and cell biology with both laboratory and clinical experience, designing and constructing cloning and expression vectors for gene expression and regulation, performing mutagenesis, protein preparation, and DNA/RNA analysis. In the Schnitzer lab, I continue to work on molecular cloning and systematic viral production.

Medical Research Fellows
Gaurav Chattree
Chief Resident, Neurology Residency Program
CONTACT  

I am Chief Resident in the Stanford Neurology Residency Program and will start a clinical fellowship in Movement Disorders at Stanford. I am interested in the neural circuits of motor learning and motor performance in animal models. I hope to use insights gained from these models to guide treatments in humans with motor control pathology, such as patients with Parkinson's disease. Before coming to Stanford, I earned my B.S. in biomedical engineering at U.Texas at Austin and my M.D. from at University of Texas Southwestern, where I studied the neural circuits of learning and memory in zebra finch songbirds.

Postdoctoral Scholars
Behnam Abaie
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

Optical imaging plays an important role in how neuroscientists study the structure and function of the live nervous system. My postdoctoral research in the Schnitzer lab focuses on the development of new optical imaging modalities for tracking complex patterns of neural activity in awake behaving animals.

Jordi Fernandez Albert
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

Learning and memory, neuronal plasticity, and many brain diseases involve profound changes in transcriptional regulation. As a joint postdoc with the labs of Mark Schnitzer and William Greenleaf, I am investigating how transcriptional regulation relates to neural activity in healthy and diseased brains.

Dan Berg
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

My goal is to understand the function and coordination of specialized neural cell-types in complex circuits to enable the development of precise, targeted therapeutics. As a joint postdoc with Mark Schnitzer (Stanford) and Greg Scherrer (UNC), I am using single-cell RNA-seq to determine the molecular identity of amygdalar neurons that encode the unpleasantness associated with pain. This builds on my Ph.D. research, for which I used transcriptomics to identify unique molecular features of an exceptionally rare and specialized family of retinal neurons.

Radoslaw Chrapkiewicz
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

Large-scale optical imaging of neural ensemble dynamics is nowadays the most promising way to unveil unexplored features of brain activity. During my Ph.D. studies in quantum optics, I developed new techniques of storing and imaging the spatial structure of single photons. My current research will focus on providing new optical tools to efficiently extract signals from genetically encoded neural activity indicators under hitherto technically unattainable conditions.

Simon Haziza
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

How the brain's many different types of neurons synchronize their electrical dynamics to generate extended brain oscillations is a longstanding and important question. With my joint background in neuroscience and physics, I am developing and applying new ways to probe the brain's voltage rhythms by using genetically encoded fluorescent voltage indicators.

Oscar Hernandez
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

The perception of objects may be encoded by the coordinated neural activity of only thousands of cells. Thanks to recent technological developments, we can generally access and manipulate such information optically. My research focuses on the development of innovative optical systems that may elucidate precise causal links between neural activity and the neural representation of objects.

Xiqian Jiang
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

During my Ph.D. research at Baylor College of Medicine, I developed several reversible, ratiometric fluorescent probes for glutathione. Now I am interested in applying novel techniques, especially imaging and omics-based assays, to study the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory and diseases thereof.

Junjie Luo
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

I am using genetic and optical tools developed by the Schnitzer lab to dissect and characterize the dynamics of the olfactory learning and memory circuit in adult Drosophila.

Monique Mendes
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

Astrocytes act with extraordinary specificity on neuronal circuits in the brain. With my joint background in glial biology and neuroscience, my research focuses on manipulating and studying astrocytes using the array of optical tools developed in the Schnitzer lab. I will image the joint dynamics of astrocytes and large neural ensembles in awake behaving mice to gain new insights into how astrocytes directly modulate neuronal circuitry.

Nicole Mercer Lindsay
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

Pain is a multifaceted experience that has a powerful influence on human and animal behavior. Understanding how diverse circuits interact is critical for identifying novel, non-addictive treatments for chronic pain. Working with our lab's collaborators, I use innovative viral tools and optical techniques developed in the Schnitzer lab to dissect pathway-specific contributions to pain and pain-evoked behavioral responses.

Adam Shai
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

Sensory processing and the brain's creation of perceptions form the bedrock of our experience, and yet their neural mechanisms remain enigmatic. By studying the dynamics of cortical processing during perceptual tasks, I hope to uncover the computational principles by which representations are formed in the cortex, and the biological mechanisms that carry out such computations.

Xiaochen Sun
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

It has always been intriguing to me how the brain learns new information, skills, and knowledge in a complex world. By using large-scale optical imaging techniques to study the dynamics of neural ensembles involved in learning and memory, I hope to understand experience-dependent changes in the brain circuits and to uncover computational principles governing learning in neural networks.

Michael White
Postdoctoral Scholar
CONTACT  

Existing models propose that perception requires neocortex, but scientists do not yet understand cortical function well. I am using technology developed in the Schnitzer Lab to image neocortex of awake, behaving mice from large-scale ensembles to dendritic spines to gain new insight into how this prominent brain structure functions.

Graduate Students
Fatih Dinc
Graduate Student
CONTACT  

My interest lies at the intersection between neuroscience and computer science. Using machine learning methods and brain imaging data from mice, I aim to tap into the internal neural circuitry of the brain and understand the neural ensemble dynamics underlying memory formation and recollection in the short- and long-term. I received my undergraduate training as an electrical engineering in Turkey and my masters in theoretical physics in Canada. As an applied physics Ph.D. student at Stanford, I use a wide range of methods to tackle the interdisciplinary research questions we ask in the Schnitzer lab.

Omer Hazon
Graduate Student
CONTACT  

I am interested in understanding the emergent properties of large neural ensembles and the principles behind neural coding using imaging datasets and connectionist models.

Yuxi Ke
Graduate Student
CONTACT  

I am a bioengineering Ph.D. student and am interested in uncovering the relationships between neural ensemble activity patterns in behaving animals and the macromolecular changes that support learning and memory.

Vasily Kruzhilin
Graduate Student
CONTACT  

My research interests are in advancing optical technologies for high-fidelity optical imaging and studying large-scale synchronous electrical activity in the mammalian brain. I am an applied physics Ph.D. student and use my training in laser physics and nonlinear optics at Moscow State University to work on interdisciplinary neuroscience research in the Schnitzer lab.

Yang Li
Graduate Student
CONTACT  

I am using the unique optical imaging technologies developed in the Schnitzer lab to better understand the means by which the brain stores and recalls episodic and associative memories. In addition to memory, I am also interested in the neural basis for cognition and executive functions.

Jessica Maxey
Graduate Student
CONTACT  

I am interested in developing methods to analyze neural data collected using functional imaging as well as developing computational models based on observed neural patterns. My work is supported by my undergraduate background in electrical engineering.

Seung Je Woo
Graduate Student
CONTACT

I am interested in developing technologies that will lead to a better understanding of neural circuits in Drosophila. Specifically, I am creating machine-vision capable robots for manipulating fruit flies and compact microscopes for parallel, high-throughput brain imaging.