A collage of the Picower fellows

Picower Fellows

Exceptional scholars

Picower Fellows are researchers of exceptional ability, originality, resourcefulness, and the highest caliber of intellectual achievement. The fellowships program provides them an opportunity to pursue training under the mentorship of a Picower Institute faculty investigator in any laboratory in the Institute, including the space, resources and support needed to run their own programs and pursue an independent research agenda, freed from the burden and uncertainty of trying to secure grant funding.

Meet the current class of these outstanding researchers below.

And visit here to learn of alumni from this and preceding programs.

Faculty Mentor
Research Summary
Chinna Akaikkan
Chinnakkuruppan Akaikkan Li-Huei Tsai Adaikkan investigates the contribution of acetylcholine (ACh) neuromodulatory system in visual stimulation-induced gamma oscillations using a variety of methods, He plans to explore whether boosting ACh neurotransmission can improve the therapeutic potential of non-invasive visual gamma rhythm stimulation for Alzheimer’s disease.
A cropped portrait of Saba Baskoylu
Saba Baskoylu Steven Flavell Baskoylu uses the model C. elegans to study how repeated exposure to aversive cues over long time scales stably changes foraging behaviors, allowing animals to avoid injury and survive. By deciphering the mechanisms that underlie these long-lasting circuit changes, she hopes to reveal fundamental neural mechanisms that allow animals to stably integrate information about their environment and construct internal models of the external world.
A portrait of Sayak Bhattacharya
Sayak Bhattacharya Earl Miller

Bhattacharya hypothesizes that spatially traveling waves of neural activity in the cortex organize neural oscillations in working memory tasks. He is studying various aspects of the nature of these waves to learn more about how they encode items retained in memory.

Picower Fellow Tim Brawn
Timothy Brawn Matthew Wilson

Brawn has worked with a variety of methods and animal models to study sleep-dependent memory consolidation. In the Wilson lab he plans to learn optogenetic and calcium imaging techniques to explore how the hippocampus and cortex interact during sleep to create lasting memories.

A portrait of Chloe Delepine
Chloe Delepine Mriganka Sur

Employing 3D cerebral organoids derived from patients with Rett syndrome, Delepine is exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal migration deficits during development. Through her research she aims to identify near early therapeutic strategies for the disorder.

A portrait of Quentin Ferry with a blue background, wearing a blue dress shirt.
Quentin Ferry Susumu Tonegawa Memories are not formed in a vacuum but rather learned against a background of prior knowledge acquired through past experiences. Systems reconsolidation may be one of the pathways through which newly formed memories interact with, and are integrated into, prior knowledge. Ferry seeks to understand how the original (prior experience) and the recall-induced (novel experience) memory engrams interact during the process of systems reconsolidation of memory (SRM), as well as characterize the neural circuits supporting this mechanism.
Hyeseung Lee
Hyeseung Lee Myriam Heiman Lee has been using Huntington’s disease  models to study cell-type specific molecular mechanisms that contribute to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases as well as to normal aging. She is excited to explore the contribution of striatal Foxo1 to Medium Spiny Neurons (MSNs) aging and response to mutant huntingtin, potentially yielding therapeutic targets.
A portrait of Chad Sauvola
Chad Sauvola Troy Littleton Sauvola is working to characterize the protein tomosyn, which has a key role in mediating plasticity in neurons that release neurotransmitters upon connection with synapses on other cells ("presynaptic" plasticity). Tomosyn interfaces with the machinery within presynaptic cells to affect vesicle fusion, a process that enables neurotransmitter release.
Portrait of Gabe Schamberg smiling, wearing a dark grey shirt before an off-white background
Gabe Schamberg Emery N. Brown Schamberg is working on developing control signals for a closed loop anesthesia delivery (CLAD) system that will provide real-time control and delivery of anesthesia for patients in the operating room. In this work he is leveraging years of research aimed at understanding signals produced by the human brain under anesthesia and recent work in control models for anesthetic delivery in animal models.
A portrait of David Stoppel
David Stoppel Mark Bear

Stoppel studies the molecular mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorders. He is currently investigating a unique Fragile X syndrome phenotype with the expectation that better understanding of the causes of the phenotype will lead to novel therapeutic strategies that overcome the limitations of what have been attempted to date.

A portrait of Ji Wang
Ji Wang Kwanghun Chung

To enable a crucial step in the Chung lab’s efforts to create a comprehensive 3D map of the entire human brain, Wang is engineering a vibratome that is capable of slicing a whole brain into uniform slabs several millimeters thick, which allows for tissue processing and imaging (and later image reconstruction). The sectioning achieves minimal tissue deformation.

A portrait of Liu Yang
Liu Yang Gloria Choi The goal of Yang's research is to uncover how behavioral patterns are changed by cytokines in the course of sickness and the neurological mechanisms underlying these behavioral changes.