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Functional conceptual knowledge maps of the human brain. Image by Neuroscience PhD Program alum Alex Huth, Gallant lab.

Our community includes over 70 faculty members in 12 academic departments who deepen our understanding of the brain and the rest of the nervous system through neurotechnology innovation and original research. Explore the research interests of Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute faculty below, and click on their website links for more information. Current and prospective PhD Program students can click on the box, “Show only Neuroscience PhD Program Training Faculty,” to see which labs are part of our training program.

Current Faculty

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Hillel Adesnik
Hillel Adesnik
Associate Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Plasticity, connectivity, and dynamics of neural networks
Helen Bateup
Helen Bateup
Associate Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Molecular basis of synapse and circuit changes associated with epilepsy and autism
Diana Bautista
Diana Bautista
Professor of Cell Biology, Development & Physiology
Research Focus: Molecular mechanisms underlying the sensations of itch, touch and pain
Annaliese Beery
Annaliese Beery
Associate Professor of Integrative Biology
Research Focus: Mechanisms supporting affiliative social behavior between peers; neuroendocrinology of complex behavior
Eric Betzig
Eric Betzig
Professor of Physics and Cell Biology, Development & Physiology.
Research Focus: Development of new tools for imaging and image analysis to enable biological discovery
Kristofer Bouchard
Kristofer Bouchard
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Research Focus: Functional organization and dynamic coordination of sensorimotor networks underlying learned, skilled behaviors
Stephen Brohawn
Stephen Brohawn
Associate Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Molecular basis of sensory transduction and electrical signaling, especially mechanosensation
Silvia Bunge
Silvia Bunge
Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Neural mechanisms, development and plasticity of higher cognitive functions in humans
Anne Collins
Anne Collins
Associate Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Computational modeling of human learning, decision-making and executive functions
Emily Cooper
Emily Cooper
Assistant Professor of Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: Computational modeling of visual perception
Yang Dan
Yang Dan
Professor of Neurobiology, Pivotal Life Sciences Chancellor's Chair in Neuroscience
Research Focus: Neural circuits controlling sleep and mechanisms of executive control
Michael DeWeese
Michael DeWeese
Professor of Physics
Research Focus: Neural mechanisms underlying auditory processing and selective attention in the cerebral cortex and artificial neural networks
Andrew Dillin
Andrew Dillin
Professor of Immunology & Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Genetic and molecular mechanisms regulating aging and aging-related disease
David Feinberg
David Feinberg
Acting Professor of Neuroscience
Research Focus: MRI technology development, mapping columnar and visual circuitry, modeling neurovascular coupling
Daniel Feldman
Daniel Feldman
Professor of Neurobiology, Coates Family Endowed Chair in Neuroscience
Research Focus: Sensory processing and plasticity in the somatosensory cortex
Marla Feller
Marla Feller
Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Functional development and organization of neural circuits in the retina
Yvette Fisher
Yvette Fisher
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Flexibility of neural circuits for spatial navigation
John Flannery
John Flannery
Professor of Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: Gene therapies for inherited retinal degenerations
David Foster
David Foster
Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Encoding of spatial memory and navigation toward rewards by neural ensembles in the hippocampus
Jack Gallant
Jack Gallant
Professor of Psychology, Co-director of the Brain Imaging Center (BIC)
Research Focus: Identifying cortical maps to discover how the brain represents information about the world and its own mental states
Andrea Gomez
Andrea Gomez
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Instructive cues for neural form and function
Lin He
Lin He
Professor of Cell Biology, Development & Physiology
Research Focus: Cilia biology, choroid plexus function in cerebrospinal fluid production
Ming Hsu
Ming Hsu
Associate Professor of Business Administration
Research Focus: Neural basis of economic and consumer decision-making
Ehud Isacoff
Ehud Isacoff
Professor of Neurobiology, Evan Rauch Chair in Neuroscience, Co-Director of The Weill Neurohub
Research Focus: Mechanisms of ion channel function, synapse development, plasticity and neural circuit function
Richard Ivry
Richard Ivry
Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Cognition and action, with an emphasis on how people select actions, learn skills, and produce coordinated movements.
William Jagust
William Jagust
Professor of Public Health
Research Focus: Anatomic, biochemical, and neurochemical bases of brain aging and dementia
Na Ji
Na Ji
Professor of Neurobiology and Physics
Research Focus: Novel imaging methods to understand the brain
Daniela Kaufer
Daniela Kaufer
Professor of Integrative Biology
Research Focus: Molecular mechanisms of brain plasticity in response to stress and neurological insults
Preeya Khanna
Preeya Khanna
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
Research Focus: Neural basis of dexterous motor skills, neurotechnology for restoring and rehabilitating movement
Richard Kramer
Richard Kramer
Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Novel chemical reagents for non-invasive optical sensing and manipulation of ion channels and synapses
Lance Kriegsfeld
Lance Kriegsfeld
Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Brain and endocrine regulation of circadian rhythms
Stephan Lammel
Stephan Lammel
Associate Professor of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Midbrain dopamine circuits in reward-based behaviors and pathological changes in addiction, depression and schizophrenia
Markita Landry
Markita Landry
Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Research Focus: Exploiting nanomaterials to probe and characterize complex biological systems at the nano-scale; nanosensors for brain chemistry
Samantha Lewis
Samantha Lewis
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Development & Physiology
Research Focus: Mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial genome inheritance, organelle assembly, DNA replication, cell metabolism, interactions between membrane-bound organelles
Lexin Li
Lexin Li
Professor of Biostatistics
Research Focus: Statistical neuroimaging analysis, brain connectivity analysis, imaging causal inference, multimodal and longitudinal imaging analysis, and imaging tensor regression
Chunlei Liu
Chunlei Liu
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences, Co-director of the Brain Imaging Center (BIC)
Research Focus: MRI technology development for the study of neural circuits and modulation
Ellen Lumpkin
Ellen Lumpkin
Professor of Cell Biology, Development & Physiology
Research Focus: Understanding force transduction mechanisms that initiate the senses of touch and pain
Evan Miller
Evan Miller
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology
Research Focus: Development and application of molecular tools for studying neuroscience
Bruno Olshausen
Bruno Olshausen
Professor of Optometry & Vision Science, Director of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience (RCTN)
Research Focus: Computational models of sensory coding and visual perception
James Olzmann
James Olzmann
Associate Professor Molecular Therapeutics and Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology
Research Focus: Cellular lipid homeostasis, oxidative lipid damage and cell death, neurodegeneration
Steven Piantadosi
Steven Piantadosi
Associate Professor of Psychology, Co-director of the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Science (ICBS)
Research Focus: Understanding what computational processes support language acquisition, math learning, and general cognition
Teresa Puthussery
Teresa Puthussery
Assistant Professor of Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: Processing of visual signals in the healthy and diseased retina
Michael Rape
Michael Rape
Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Research Focus: Molecular mechanisms of cell fate decisions in development and disease
Austin Roorda
Austin Roorda
Professor of Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: Development of adaptive optics to track, measure, and correct the eye's imperfections
David Schaffer
David Schaffer
Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Research Focus: Engineering stem cell and gene therapeutics
Randy Schekman
Randy Schekman
Professor of Cell Biology, Development & Physiology
Research Focus: Membrane assembly, vesicular transport, and membrane fusion among organelles of the secretory pathway
Karthik Shekhar
Karthik Shekhar
Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Research Focus: Single-cell genomics and statistical inference
Michael Silver
Michael Silver
Professor of Optometry & Vision Science, Director of the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics
Research Focus: Neurophysiological and neurochemical substrates of human visual perception, attention, and learning
Friedrich Sommer
Friedrich Sommer
Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience
Research Focus: Theoretical principles of learning and perception
Rowland Taylor
Rowland Taylor
Professor of Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: Structure and function of neural circuits in the retina
Frédéric Theunissen
Frédéric Theunissen
Professor of Psychology, Director of the Neuroscience PhD Program
Research Focus: Perception of complex sounds
Doris Tsao
Doris Tsao
Professor of Neurobiology, Nan Fung Life Sciences Faculty Scholar
Research Focus: Understanding how the brain builds a model of the visual world
Matthew Walker
Matthew Walker
Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: The impact of sleep on human health and disease
Joni Wallis
Joni Wallis
Professor of Psychology, Equity Advisor
Research Focus: Neuronal mechanisms underlying high-level cognitive and behavioral processes
Kevin Weiner
Kevin Weiner
Associate Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Models to explain how brain structure and function contribute to measurable behaviors (e.g. face perception)
David Whitney
David Whitney
Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Visual perception and attention
Linda Wilbrecht
Linda Wilbrecht
Professor of Psychology
Research Focus: Experience dependent plasticity and the development of circuits involved in value based decision making
Ke Xu
Ke Xu
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Research Focus: Super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to interrogate cellular processes at the nanoscale
Michael Yartsev
Michael Yartsev
Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Research Focus: Neural basis of complex spatial and acoustic behaviors
Jacob Yates
Jacob Yates
Assistant Professor of Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: How populations of neurons in cortex encode the visual world, using statistical and machine learning models to understand neural activity and human perception, how information generated by eye movements is utilized by cortical circuits

Emeriti and Professors of the Graduate School

Martin Banks
Martin Banks
Professor Emeritus of Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: Visual space perception and sensory combination
John Clarke
John Clarke
Professor of the Graduate School of Physics
Research Focus: Superconducting quantum interference devices such as ultralow-frequency MRI
Howard Fields
Howard Fields
Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience at UC Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Physiology at UCSF
Research Focus: Mesolimbic circuits involved in goal directed behaviors, opioid regulation of synaptic function
Ralph D. Freeman
Ralph D. Freeman
Professor Emeritus Optometry & Vision Science
Research Focus: Central visual pathways: systems and computational neuroscience
Robert Knight
Robert Knight
Professor of the Graduate School of Psychology
Research Focus: Neural coding underlying goal-directed behavior and development of brain-machine interfaces for motor and language prostheses
John Ngai
John Ngai
Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the function, development and regeneration of the vertebrate olfactory system
Geoff Owen
Geoff Owen
Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Comprehensive theory of retinal image processing
Mu-ming Poo
Mu-ming Poo
Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Formation and plasticity of synapses, and activity-dependent modification of neural circuits
Kristin Scott
Kristin Scott
Professor of Genetics, Genomics, Evolution & Development
Research Focus: Taste detection, processing, and behaviors
Gerald Westheimer
Gerald Westheimer
Professor of the Graduate School of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Perceptual learning in spatial visual tasks
Bob Zucker
Bob Zucker
Professor of the Graduate School of Neurobiology
Research Focus: Mechanisms underlying regulation of synaptic transmission