The Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech comprises six interdisciplinary research centers focused on exploring and understanding the intricacies and complexities of the brain's structure and function at all scales.
The centers bring together scientists and engineers who study brain processes in different species to uncover general principles, as well as researchers who create new instruments and methods to answer previously unanswerable questions.
David J. Anderson, the Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology at Caltech and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, serves as the director of the new neuroscience institute. Anderson's research focuses on the study of neural circuits that control emotional behaviors in animal models. He has been at the forefront of developing and applying new technologies for neural-circuit manipulation.The six centers are:
Led by Richard Andersen, Caltech's James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience, the T&C Chen Brain-Machine Interface Center is advancing Caltech's work on a new generation of devices that can communicate with and stimulate the brain.
Under the direction of Colin Camerer, Caltech's Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics, the T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience is investigatingtwo important higher-order functions of the human brain: making decisions, and processing and guiding social interactions.
The T&C Chen Center for Systems Neuroscience—directed by Doris Tsao, professor of biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator— is addressing the challenge of understanding how a large group of neurons firing in concert gives rise to cognition. The Caltech researchers working in this center explore the neural circuits and computations that underlie perception, thought, emotion, memory, decision making, and behavior.
The Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, led by Viviana Gradinaru, professor of neuroscience and biological engineering and a Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, unites a contingent of Caltech researchers who are making discoveries about the brain's anatomy and development, how neurons communicate, and how processes in the brain can go wrong.
The Caltech Brain Imaging Center (CBIC), originally founded in 2003 through a gift from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and directed by Ralph Adolphs, Caltech's Bren Professor of psychology, neuroscience and biology and Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair, makes available state-of-the-art instruments and expert staff to provide detailed measurements of the working brain.
The Chen Center for Neuroscience Education, led by Markus Meister, Caltech's Anne P. and Benjamin F. Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences and Executive Officer for Neurobiology, offers a number of opportunities for graduate students in neuroscience. It provides fellowships to exceptional first-year graduate students in neuroscience options at Caltech, and it recognizes the importance of fostering graduate student participation and enriches the graduate student experience through the activities it sponsors.