Picower Postdoctoral 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.
|Macauley Breault||Emery N. Brown||Breault is working on developing biomarkers of unconsciousness from brain
signals that can be used to control the state of patients under anesthesia in real-time. For her thesis work she studied the impact that internal states have on behavior and where they are encoded in the brain.
|Matthew Broschard||Earl Miller||Broschard's interest in neuroscience involves applying neurophysiological and computational approaches to extract meaningful patterns from neural data that gain insights into cognitive processes such as working memory, attention, and categorization. He is studying how the brain transfers working memory-related activity across hemispheres as visual targets ‘cross’ between the left and right visual hemifields.|
|Adele Bubnys||Li-Huei Tsai||In the Tsai lab, Bubnys is working to develop a number of projects using induced pluripotent stem cell cultures to model Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) pathologies in vitro. Projects include developing models for studying the role of choroid plexus dysfunction in AD and its relationship to cerebrospinal fluid AD biomarkers.|
|Tushar Chauhan||Mark Bear||Chauhan's research interest lies in understanding biological sensory computation –
and my work strives to investigate the computational strategies biological vision has evolved to process and cope with the dynamic environment we live in. Chaunah will study experimental and computational aspects of visual working memory - primarily
investigating how differential axonal-targeting properties of somatostatin- and parvalbumin-expressing cells can lead to regimes where memories can be stored in neural activity across laminar layers
|Karen Cunningham||Brady Weissbourd||In the new neuroscience model of the Clytia hemisphaerica jellyfish, Cunningham is investigating how the constant birth of new neurons during early and adult stages sculpts and builds neural networks during development, homeostasis, and regeneration while preserving behavioral robustness.|
|Cassi Estrem||Steve Flavell||Estrem seeks to unveil the molecular mechanisms of how the nervous system senses signals from the gut and how these molecular pathways impact neuronal circuits to trigger changes in behavior. These studies will have broad implications for how gut microbiota interacts with the nervous
system and could illuminate how gut microbiota contributes to neurological disorders.
|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.|
|Brent Fitzwalter||Myriam Heiman||Fitzwalter's research investigates the vulnerability of specific cell types in Huntington’s disease (HD) and Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 1 (SCA1). These fatal, incurable neurodegenerative diseases are caused by CAG trinucleotide repeat expansions that result in expanded polyglutamine domains in the Huntingtin (HTT) and Ataxin 1 (ATXN1) proteins, respectively.|
|Takato Honda||Matthew Wilson||
Honda is exploring the neural representations of memory and experience in specific behavioral states: active wake, quiet wake, NREM sleep, and REM sleep. To decipher those neural codes and dialogues in the brain, he combines molecular genetics, electrophysiology, optical imaging, behavioral analysis, and computational methods.
|Joha Park||Kwanghun Chung||Park developed a novel method for hydrogel-based tissue clearing and expansion, which we termed eMAP. More recently he has been working on developing a scalable analytical framework for analyzing large-scale 3D light-sheet microscopy and trying to develop advanced algorithms to take the spatial cellular architecture into account in brain image segmentation.|
|Changhyeon Ryu||Gloria Choi||
Ryu's research interest is in discovering the role of neuromodulators in regulating innate social behaviors. He is testing whether the Thyrotropin-releasing hormone signaling in a circuit within the amygdala can reflect social internal states.
|Jennifer Shih||Mriganka Sur||Shih's research primarily focuses on circuits in the motor cortex and how they are modulated by astrocytes during motor learning in the mature mouse brain at the systems level. This builds on her graduate work studying astrocyte regulation of neuronal development at the cellular level.|
|Jessica Sidisky||Troy LIttleton||Sidisky is working on determining if adult Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) show diversity in active zone (AZ) strength, AZ protein content and turnover. I will also be working on characterizing the nature and timing of how individual AZs capture and incorporate proteins in aging adult NMJs.|
|Baovi Vo||Elly Nedivi||Vo joined the Nedivi lab to work on a project examining the link between genetic susceptibility to bipolar disorder (BD) and CPG2 expression and function. CPG (Candidate Plasticity Gene)-2 is a brain-specific protein that localizes to excitatory postsynaptic sites and regulates glutamate receptor internationalization. Previous work from the Nedivi lab found BD-related polymorphisms in CPG2 regulatory regions|