Group Members

Principal Investigator

Karl Deisseroth
deissero at

Karl received his bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1992, his PhD from Stanford in 1998, and his MD from Stanford in 2000. He completed postdoctoral training, medical internship, and adult psychiatry residency at Stanford, and he was board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 2006. He tries to find spare time for flyfishing.

Research Associates

Jeanne T. Paz
jtpaz at

Prior to joining Stanford, Jeanne obtained a PhD in Neuroscience at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris where she uncovered the role of basal ganglia in the control of absence type epileptic seizures using in vivo intracellular recordings in rodents. She is currently a Research Associate in the Deisseroth lab and her work aims at identifying seizure control points in the brain - regions, cells and circuits. She is developing novel approaches to control the activity of specific cell types to block seizures in real-time without affecting normal brain activities.


Carrie Shilyansky
cshilyan at

Carrie received her bachelor's degree in Biology from Caltech in 2001 and her PhD in neuroscience from UCLA in 2009 as part of a combined MD/PhD program completed in 2011. Her graduate work in Alcino Silva’s lab explored molecular regulation of the balance of inhibition to excitation within corticostriatal networks, in particular related to working memory deficits associated with a neurogenetic disorder, NF1. In the Deisseroth lab, she is using novel optical tools to explore emergence and regulation of brain wide networks implicated in depression.

Xiao Wang
wangxiao at

Xiao received her bachelor degree in chemistry from Peking University in China (2010) and her Ph.D in chemistry from the University of Chicago (2015). During her graduate work in Prof Chuan He's lab, she investigated the roles of dynamic RNA methylation in post- transcriptional gene regulation. As a postdoc in Prof Deisseroth's lab, she plans to apply or adapt CLARITY to study gene expression patterns underlying brain activity.

Emily Sylwestrak
emily8 at

Emily received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. She completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego in 2011 in the lab of Anirvan Ghosh, studying the role of adhesion molecules in determining the electrophysiological properties of hippocampal interneurons. She continued working on the molecular control of synapse function at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland before joining the D-lab in 2014. As a postdoc, she plans to work on improving the versatility of the CLARITY technique for visualizing different types of biomolecules.

Huiliang (Evan) Wang
whl0903 at

Evan completed his undergraduate studies in Materials Science from University of Oxford in the UK. He then came to Stanford University for his PhD with Prof Zhenan Bao. His thesis project was on polymer sorting of semiconducting carbon nanotubes and their applications in flexible electronics. As a postdoc in Prof Deisseroth's lab, he is interested in developing better technologies for understanding and controlling brain activity.

Josh Jennings
joshjennings at

Josh received his bachelor's degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009, and his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his graduate work in Garret Stuber's lab, he utilized in vivo cell type-specific electrophysiological and optical methods to monitor the activity dynamics of discrete motivated behavioral states. In the Deisseroth lab, he plans to use optical techniques to selectively monitor and perturb neural network activity patterns.

Avishek Adhikari
avishek at

Avishek received his Bachelor's in Science degree from the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil. From 2005-2010 he worked at Columbia University with Prof. Joshua Gordon and Prof. Rene Hen studying the activity of the hippocampal-medial prefrontal cortical pathway in mice during anxiety. He joined Stanford in 2011, to continue his studies on the neural circuits underlying fear and anxiety by combining in vivo electrophysiology and optogenetics. Outside the lab Avi enjoys playing guitar, drawing, and eating seafood.

Aaron Andalman
aandal at

Aaron received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Stanford in 1999 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from MIT in 2009. During graduate school he studied the function of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits in motor learning behaviors. As a postdoc, he is interested in studying the principles of reward learning using optical methods for observing and manipulating neural circuits. Outside of lab he enjoys piano, tennis, squash, basketball, and recreational programming.

Talia Lerner
talia.lerner at

Talia received her bachelors degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCSF in 2011. Her graduate work (in Anatol Kreitzer's lab) focused on understanding the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the striatum, in particular the regulation of this plasticity by dopamine and adenosine. In the Deisseroth Lab, she is exploring the role of basal ganglia circuit function and dopamine signaling in the development and expression of habitual behavior.

Soo Yeun Lee
synlee at

Soo received her BA in Molecular & Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. She worked as a bioinformatics associate in industry and a molecular biology research assistant at Stanford, before continuing onto her PhD at UC Irvine. Her graduate thesis in Ivan Soltesz's lab focused on the cell-type specific organization and modulation of GABAergic circuits, with an emphasis in neuropeptide signaling pathways. As a postdoc, she is interested in combining her molecular and electrophysiological background to pursue new opsin design and engineering strategies.

Andre Berndt
berndt at

Andre Berndt studied Biophysics at the Humboldt University in Berlin and received his PhD in 2011. He studied the molecular mechanism of Channelrhodopsins and designed variants with new features in Peter Hegemann's lab. He continues this work in Karl Deisseorth's lab in order to extend the optogenetic toolbox.

James Marshel
jmarshel at

Jim received a dual Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology-Neurobiology and Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego in 2011. During his graduate work in Ed Callaway's lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Jim developed and applied tools for revealing single microcircuits in mammalian cortex. He studied functional circuit processing throughout the visual system, including thalamus, primary visual cortex and extrastriate visual areas using in vivo two-photon imaging, calcium sensors and viral tracers. In the Deisseroth Lab, Jim is applying novel methods for in vivo single cell optogenetic stimulation to dissect cortical circuit computations during sensation and behavior. He aims to understand the role of local circuit plasticity and recurrent connections in driving cortical circuit output and behavior.

Priya Rajasethupathy
priya4 at

Priya received her B.A. in Biology from Cornell University and her M.D./Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Columbia University. During her graduate work with Eric Kandel, she studied small RNA- and epigenetic- mechanisms underlying cellular memory. In her post-doc, she plans to study circuit level mechanisms in the encoding and retrieval of behavioral memory.

Li Ye
liye02 at

Li received his bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Tsinghua University in China and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. During his Ph.D. work with Bruce Spiegelman, he used chemical biology tools to study the transcriptional control of energy metabolism. In the Deisseroth Lab, he's interested in using brain-wide mapping tools to understand the circuit basis of mouse behavior.

Matthew Lovett-barron
mattlb at

Matt received his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in 2009, and his PhD in Neuroscience from Columbia University in 2014. During his graduate studies in Attila Losonczy's lab, Matt used electrophysiology, cell type-specific inactivation, in vivo calcium imaging, and behavioral analysis to discover that dendrite-targeting interneurons in the hippocampus control input-output transformations and the encoding of context during fear learning. In the Deisseroth lab he is using optical methods to investigate brain-wide activity patterns.

Graduate Students

Ethan Richman
richman at

Ethan received an ScB in Applied Math-Biology from Brown University in 2013 and is currently a PhD student in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at Stanford. Previously, he developed a genetic method for anterograde transsynaptic labeling with Gilad Barnea at Brown University. He is interested in developing genetic techniques to better manipulate and interrogate neural circuit dynamics. Ethan is co-advised by Professor Liqun Luo.

Misha Raffiee
mraffiee at

Misha received a bachelor's degree in Bioengineering and Business Economics and Management from Caltech, and is currently in the Bioengineering PhD program at Stanford. She is interested in developing novel opsins to expand the optogenetics toolkit, and applying optical tools to investigate dynamics of neural circuits underlying behavior.

Sam Vesuna
svesuna at

Sam received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Yale University in 2012, and is currently a PhD student in the Bioengineering program at Stanford.

Yoon Seok Kim
kys8892 at

Yoon received his Bachelor's degree in neurobiology in 2013 and his M.S. in biology in 2014 from Stanford University. During his Masters degree, He studied the biochemistry of postsynaptic and presynaptic membrane proteins in Thomas Sudhof's lab. He is currently in the Bioengineering Ph.D. program at Stanford, and is co-advised by Dr. Brian Kobilka. He is working to understand mechanisms of different opsins and develop new tools for neuroscience research.

William Allen
wallen at

Will received an ScB in Applied Mathematics-Biology from Brown University in 2012, an MPhil in Computational Biology from the University of Cambridge in 2013, and is currently a PhD student in the Neurosciences program at Stanford. He is interested in developing and applying genetic, optical, and computational tools to measure and manipulate neural circuit dynamics. He is coadvised by Prof. Liqun Luo in the Department of Biology.

Logan Grosenick
logang at

Logan received bachelors degrees with honors in Biology and Psychology from Stanford, and a Masters in Statistics from Stanford. He is currently a Ph. D. candidate in the Neurosciences Program and a trainee at the Stanford Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation. He is interested in developing and applying novel computational and imaging techniques for observing, controlling, and understanding neuronal circuit dynamics.

Lief Fenno
lfenno at

Lief received his Bachelors degree in neurobiology from Harvard, where he worked at the intersection of human embryonic stem cells and Parkinson's disease. Afterward, he continued this endevor at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston before joining the Stanford Neuroscience program as a MD/PhD student. He's currently working with the effort to engineer opsin function and delivery and investigating social behavior.

Aslihan Selimbeyoglu
aslihans at

Aslihan received her bachelors degree in molecular biology and genetics from Istanbul Technical University. She then completed a masters in cognitive science studying decision making under uncertainty in humans, and arrived Stanford University as a Fulbright scholar and joined Parvizi Lab to learn intracranial electrophysiology recordings from epilepsy patients. She is currently a neurosciences PhD candidate at Stanford. In the Deisseroth Lab, she is interested in engineering of the optogenetic tools, and revealing and manipulating the neural circuitry underlying autism.

Christina Kim
kimck at

Tina received an A.B. in Molecular Biology and a minor in Quantitative and Computational Neuroscience at Princeton University. She is currently in the Neurosciences Ph.D. Program at Stanford. She is interested in using optical measurements and perturbation of neuronal activity to study circuit dynamics in awake, behaving animals.

Vanessa Burns
vburns at

Vanessa is part of the Chemical and Systems Biology PhD program at Stanford. She received a B.S. in Bioengineering from Caltech with a focus on Systems and Synthetic Biology.

Noah Young
npyoung at

Noah holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University where he majored in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics & Statistics. Today he works on novel neural stimulation methods, whole-brain imaging of neural dynamics in larval zebrafish, and computational tools for the big data problems that arise from volumetric neural imaging datasets.

Ariane Tom
ariane.tom at

Ariane received her B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from Stanford University and is currently a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering. She is interested in developing biomaterials with unique optical, conductive, and morphological properties to create improved neural interfaces. Ariane joined the Deisseroth lab in Fall 2013, and is co-advised by Dr. Zhenan Bao.

Isaac Kauvar
ikauvar at

Isaac received a B.S. in Engineering Physics with a specialty in photonics fro Stanford, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering with a focus on imaging and optimization, also from Stanford, and is currently a PhD student in the Electrical Engineering program at Stanford. He is coadvised by Prof. Gordon Wetzstein in EE.


Cynthia Delacruz
cdelacruz at

Program Manager, CNCAdministrative Services Manager, Deisseroth Lab

Research Assistants

I-Ping (Sophia) Lee

Adelaida Chibukhchyan

Ailey Crow

Sean Quirin

Nandini Pichamoorthy

Ai-Chi Wang

Charu Ramakrishnan
Lab manager, Clark

Sally Pak
Lab manager, CNC

Maisie Lo
Laboratory and education manager

Connie Lee

Kristin Overton
CLARITY workshop manager


Daniel Tang

Debha Amatya

Anna Jaffe

Kathryn Evans

Michael Zhu Chen


Alice Shi On Hong
Research Assistant 2014-2015

Melissa Warden
Post-doc -2014

Tom Davidson
Post-doc -2015

Paul Kalanithi
Post-doc -2015

Raju Tomer
Post-doc 2013-2016

Conor Liston
Post-doc -2014

Joanna Mattis
Graduate -2014

Kelly Zalocusky
Graduate Student 2010-2016

Werapong (joe) Goo
Graduate Student -2014

Emily Ferenczi
Graduate Student -2015

Samuel Yang
Graduate Student 2011-2016

Haley Swanson
Research Assistant 2014

Raghu Yabaluri
M.s. 2005

Handhini Nandiwada Santhanam
M.s. 2007

Yuqing Gong
M.s. 2006

Ed Boyden
Postdoc 2005-2006

Cathy Han
M.s. 2007

Vicki Parente
B.s. 2007

Myriam Cordey
Postdoc 2005-2006

Albrecht Stroh
Postdoc 2006-2007

Alex Aravanis
Postdoc 2006-2007

Mani Roy
Scientist 2005-2007

Ellora Karmarker
Undergrad 2005-2007

Leslie Meltzer
Grad Student 2004-2008

Feng Zhang
Graduate student 2004-2009

Liping Wang
Post-doc 2005-2007

Jin Hung Lee
Post-doc 2007-2009

Raag Airan
Graduate student 2005-2009

Ramin Pashaie
Post-doc 2007-2009

Bret Schneider
Staff Scientist 2006-2010

Vikaas Sohal
Post-doc 2006-2010

Ragu Vijaykumar
Graduate student 2006-2010

Hannah Bernstein
Undergrad 2007-2010

Hosniya Zarabi
Undergrad 2008-2010

Matt Brodsky
Undergrad 2009-2010

Hsing-chen Tsai
Graduate student 2006-2010

Polina Anikeeva
Post-doc 2008-2010

Murtaza Mogri
Grad Student 2006-2011

Remy Durand
Grad Student 2007-2011

Ilka Diester
Post-doc 2008-2011

Ofer Yizhar
Post-doc 2008-2011

Kay Tye
Post-doc 2008-2011

David Lin
Post-doc 2010-2012

Ilana Witten
Post-doc 2008-2012

Anselm Levskaya
Post-doc 2009-2011

Nancy Wang
Research Assistant 2011-2012

Viviana Gradinaru
Graduate Student 2006-2010

Kim Thompson
Post-doc 2007-2012

Inbal Goshen
Post-doc 2008-2012

Chris Lee-messer
Post-doc 2009-2012

Divya Chander
Post-doc 2009-2012

Chris Towne
Post-doc 2010-2012

Ryan Squire
Grad Student 2008-2012

Joel Finkelstein
Research Assistant 2009-2011

Sandhiya Kalyanasundaram
Research Assistant 2010-2012

Zhiqiang Chen
Research Assistant 2008-2012

Kwanghun Chung
Post-doc -2013

Rohit Prakash
Graduate student -2012

Lisa Gunaydin
Grad Student -2013

Minsuk Hyun
Undergrad -2013

Jenelle Wallace
Undergrad -2013

Sung-yon Kim
Graduate student -2013

Jule Mirzabekov
Research Assistant -2013

Chelsey Perry
Research Assistant -2014