Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Viviana Gradinaru completed her BS at Caltech and did her PhD research at Stanford University. She is now a professor of neuroscience and biological engineering and Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator at Caltech.
Gradinaru's research focuses on investigating the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, its affected behaviors, and relevant interventions such as deep brain stimulation. Her group also develops tools and methods for use in neuroscience, such as optogenetic actuators and sensors, tissue clearing and imaging, and gene-delivery vehicles.
Gradinaru serves as the faculty director of Caltech's Beckman Institute for CLARITY, Optogenetics, and Vector Engineering Research (CLOVER). She received the NIH Director's New Innovator Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and has been honored as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist and as one of Cell's 40 under 40. Gradinaru is also a Sloan Fellow, Pew Scholar, Moore Inventor, Vallee Scholar, and Allen Brain Institute NGL Council Member, and received the inaugural Peter Gruss Young Investigator Award by the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. In 2017 she was the Early-Career Scientist Winner in the Innovators in Science Award in Neuroscience (Takeda and the New York Academy of Sciences) and in 2018 she received a Gill Transformative award.