Giorgio Ascoli

University Professor, Volgenau Bioengineering Department, George Mason University
Founding Director, Center for Neural Informatics, Structures, & Plasticity (CN3)
Director, Computational Neuroanatomy Group (CNG)

Founding Editor-in-Chief, Neuroinformatics

The main effort of Dr. Ascoli's lab is to connect the cellular organization of brain networks to cognitive functions such as learning and memory. His laboratory hosts and curates a central inventory of digitally reconstructed neurons in NeuroMorpho.Org and Hippocampome knowledge  base and has developed L-Neuron, a neuron modeling  tool. His  long-term scientific and philosophical goal consists in establishing a working model for the highest cognitive functions such as human consciousness.

M. Saleet Jafri

Professor, School of Systems Biology, George Mason University
Interim Director, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study

Dr. Jafri's research uses computational models to understand the molecular and cellular basis of disease. His research interests include: Cellular signaling, calcium dynamics, cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, mitochondrial signaling and energy metabolism, high performance computing, and computational modeling.

Kenneth A. De Jong

Professor Emeritus, Computer Science, George Mason University
Associate Director, Krasnow Institute
Director, Evolutionary Computation Lab

Dr. De Jong is one of the pioneers in evolutionary computation. He has been instrumental in unifying various evolutionary techniques like genetic algorithms, evolution strategies and evolutionary programming under one umbrella of evolutionary computation. He has been also instrumental in the research sub field of co-evolution in evolutionary computation

Siddhartha Sikdar

Associate Professor, Bioengineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason University

Dr. Sikdar's professional experience is in the interdisciplinary research, development, clinical evaluation and commercialization of medical devices and medical imaging systems. His specific speciality is in ultrasound imaging systems. He experience in medical imaging system development from imaging physics, system architecture, algorithms and optimal implementations based on high-performance media processors.

Nathalia Peixoto

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Neural Engineering Lab

Dr. Peixoto's research interests include implantable electrodes and systems, hybrid systems (cell cultures and electronics), control of assistive technology, bioMEMS (bio-micro-electro-mechanical systems), and experimental models of neuropathologies such as epilepsy and spreading depression.

Kim Avrama Blackwell

Professor, Molecular Neuroscience, George Mason University

Dr Blackwell investigate calcium dynamics and signaling pathways involved in long term memory storage.  One of the fundamental, unsolved questions in neuroscience is how different spatio-temporal patterns of input produce different memories and shape information processing.

She also investigates the role of dopamine in both normal reward learning and Parkinson's disease.  Her lab develops novel computer software and realistic neuronal models, as well as using electrophysiology to answer these questions.

Jane Flinn

Associate Professor, Psychology Department, George Mason University
Director, GMU Undergraduate Neuroscience Program
Director, Flinn Lab

Dr. Flinn’s research has emphasized the roles of zinc, copper and iron in learning and memory and also in macular degeneration. Her research currently focuses on two specific aspects of metals in behavior, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the extinction of learned fears.

Ted Dumas

Associate Professor, Molecular Neuroscience Department, Krasnow Institute
Principal Investigator, Physiological and Behavioral Neuroscience in Juveniles Lab (PBNJ)

Dr. Dumas research focuses on neural substrates of memory, neural and cognitive development, stress and behavioral control, real-time brain activity focus in a multidisciplinary setting.

Matthew S. Peterson

Associate Professor, Human Factors and Applied Cognition and the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience divisions, Department of Psychology, George Mason University
Director, GMU Psychology MA program

Dr. Peterson's research focus is on visual attention and related areas, such as eye movements, working memory, multitasking, and visual cognition. His research interests include: Human Factors/Applied Cognition: Visual attention, eye movements, working memory, attentional control, brain plasticity, and cognitive training.

Martin Wiener

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychology, George Mason University
AAAS Fellow, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems Class of 2015

Dr. Wiener's research entailed neuroscientific investigations into the neural bases of time perception and rhythmic processing, where he utilized a number of techniques, including neurogenetics, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.

Paul So

Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy at George Mason University

Dr. So is a theoretical physicist specialized in dynamical systems analysis and its application to neuroscience. The overarching goal of his research is the application of these tools from dynamical systems and other physical insights from statistical physics to a better understanding on the mechanisms for information processing in the brain and on dynamical causes related to different pathological neural diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

Ernest Barreto

Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University

The main goal of Dr. Barreto's research is to understand and describe the complex dynamics in neural systems using techniques from dynamical systems theory. We are specifically interested in the emergence of collective behavior across the various scales of neuronal organization, from individual neurons to various functional ensembles.

John Robert Cressman

Assistant Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, and Krasnow Institute, George Mason University

Dr. Cressman's research has focused on investigating dynamical structures in driven systems with a specific interest in their role in the functions of the brain.

Transient but long-lived correlated dynamics underlie innumerable biological processes, from the lifecycle of an organism to conscious thought and social behavior. Transient dynamical structures are also the hallmark of a number of natural phenomena including tornados, hurricanes, gyres, and von Karman vortex streets.

James Willett

Professor, Biochemistry & Bioinformatics, Applied Cell Biology and Genetics, School of Systems Biology, George Mason University
Founding Director, School of Systems Biology

Dr. Willet areas of scientific interest and specialization are Biochemistry and Systems Biology.  He employs the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study the molecular mechanisms driving physiologic state changes.

Nadine Kabbani

Associate Professor, Molecular Neuroscience Department, Krasnow Institute of Advanced Studies
Director, GMU Program in Neuroethics

Dr. Kabbani's research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of nicotinic receptor drug actions in the brain and immune system.

Andrew H Peterson

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, George Mason University
Research Fellow, GMU Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy
Affiliate Faculty, GMU Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroethics
Affiliate Member, Rotman Institute of Philosophy

Dr. Peterson's research centers on bioethics and the philosophy of neuroscience, with specialization in the ethical treatment of individuals with disorders of consciousness.

Kathryn Laskey

Professor, Systems Engineering and Operations Research, George Mason University
Associate Director, GMU's Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, Computing and Intelligence (C4I Center)


Broad research interest is the use of information technology to support better inference and decision making.

Dr. Laskey teaches courses in systems engineering, decision theory, and decision support systems.

Michael Pritz

Affiliate: Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, Deparment of Bioengineering, George Mason University
Principal Investigator: Developmental Evolutionary Neurobiology Lab

Dr. Pritz's research investigates the development and evolution of vertebrate brains.   The present focus is on two areas: (1.) forebrain organization and development in a model vertebrate system and (2.) general principles that underlie the formation of brain nuclei. He also teaches a course on mammalian neurobiolgy.

Rubén Armañanzas

Research Assistant Professor, Center for Neural Informatics, Neural Structures, and Neural Plasticity of the Krasnow Institute at George Mason University.

Dr. Armañanzas research topics include machine learning, computational neuroscience, and neuroinformatics. In particular, applications within these topics are: knowledge discovery in digital neuronal reconstructions, automatic classification of neuronal types, complex neuromorphic networks, and unveiling key aspects of neuronal morphogenesis in the developing brain.

Jacopo Annese, PhD – UCSD

Assistant Professor, UCSD School of Medicine
President/CEO, Institute for Brain and Society
Affiliate, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studies

Dr. Annese's primary goal in the field of neuroscience is to conduct research that is open to public engagement and promotes the highest standards in data sharing and collaboration within the scientific community.

James Olds

University Professor of Neuroscience, Policy, and Government, Schar School
Former Assistant Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), National Science Foundation (NSF)
Former Director, Krasnow Institute


Harold Morowitz (1928-2016)

Founding Director, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studies
Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University
Eminent Scholar, GMU Molecular Neuroscience Department and Robinson Fellow

Biophysicist Harold Morowitz became a Robinson Professor after a long career of teaching and research at Yale University as Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and serving for five years as Master of Pierson College. Dr. Morowitz was interested in philosophical foundations of neurobiology and the problem of consciousness.

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