Craig Forest, PhD – Ga. Tech

Associate Professor of Bioengineering and BioMedical Engineering, Georgia Tech
Principal Investigator, Precision Biosystems Laboratory
Facilitator for Invention Studio

Forest conducts research on miniaturized, high-throughput robotic instrumentation to advance neuroscience and genetic science, working at the intersection of bioMEMS, precision machine design, optics, and microfabrication. Prior to Georgia Tech, he was a research fellow in Genetics at Harvard Medical School.

Bryan Roth, MD/PhD – UNC

Professor. Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina
Director, NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program
Director, Roth Lab

Roth studies all aspects of GPCR structure and function ranging from the atomic-level analysis of ligand-receptor interactions to in vivo studies. Currently he is focused on members of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) and opioid receptor families and their accessory proteins.

Sarah Stanley, PhD – Rockefeller

Senior Research Associate , Rockefeller University and Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

The technology Stanley is developing would enable researchers to manipulate the activity of neurons, as well as other cell types, in freely moving animals in order to better understand what these cells do. Staley's new nanoparticle-based technique has a unique combination of features that may enable new types of experimentation.

John L. R. Rubenstein, MD/PhD – UCSF

Professor of Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry, UC San Francisco
Director, Rubenstein Lab

Rubenstein's research focuses on the regulatory genes that orchestrate development of the forebrain. His lab has demonstrated the role of specific genes in regulating neuronal specification, differentiation, migration and axon growth during embryonic development and on through adult life. His work may help to explain some of the mechanisms underlying human neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

X. William Yang, MD/PhD – UCLA

Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UC Los Angeles
Director, X. William Yang Research Group

Yang is interested in using the mouse molecular genetic approach to study the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. One recurring theme in neurodegenerative diseases is that a widely expressed mutant protein can cause highly selective degeneration of a subset of neurons. The pathogenesis of such selective neurodegeneration remains unclear. Currently, we are focusing on Huntington's disease (HD) to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the disease

Kevin J. Staley, MD – Harvard Med

Professor of Child Neurology and Mental Retardation, Harvard Medical School
Unit Chief, Pediatric Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Research Lab

Staley focuses on neuronal ion transport and the spread of activity in neural networks. Research interests include epilepsy, synaptic physiology, and neural network activity. Research techniques used: single cell electrophysiology, in vivo radiotelemetry, ion-sensitive fluorescent imaging of ion transport and neural network activity, computer modeling.

Oliver Hobert, PhD – Columbia

Professor Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Columbia Neuroscience; HHMI Investigator
Director, Hobert Lab

Oliver Hobert studies molecular mechanisms that control the generation of the enormous diversity of cell types in the nervous system. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system, his lab decodes genomic cis-regulatory information of gene batteries expressed in specific neuronal cell types and identifies trans-acting factors that act at various stages of neuronal development to impose specific terminal differentiation programs onto individual neuron types.

Gregory Hannon, PhD – CSHL

Professor at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory & HHMI Investigator
Principal Investigator, Hannon Lab

Greg Hannon explores the processes that cells use to turn genes on and off. My work is focused on understanding a relatively new class of cellular pathways, governed by molecules known as small RNAs, that control gene activation and repression. Our studies of small-RNA biology in early development provide insights into human evolution, diversity, and diseases such as cancer.

Ed Boyden, PhD – MIT

Associate Professor and AT&T Chair, MIT Media Lab and McGovern Institute, Departments of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Co-Director, MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering
Principal Investigator, Synthetic Biology Group

Ed Boyden develops new strategies for analyzing and engineering brain circuits to develop broadly applicable methodologies that reveal fundamental mechanisms of complex brain processes. A major goal of his current work is the development of technologies for controlling nerve cells using light.

Ian Wickersham, PhD – MIT

Research Scientist
Head of MIT Genetic Neuroengineering Group

Research interests: viral vector engineering, synthetic biology. Engineering genetic tools for neuroscience.

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