Unit on Neural Computation and Behavior (Histed lab)
Mark H. Histed, Ph.D.
I am a neuroscientist who has been fascinated throughout my career with how populations of neurons — patterns of activity across cells — encode information and create brain function. I've used a variety of electrical and optical methods to reveal connections between cellular-level neural activity and behavior.
Before I founded this Group in 2016, I was research faculty at the University of Chicago, did a postdoc at Harvard Medical School, and earned a Ph.D. at MIT in 2005. (Neurotree entry here )
Bradley Akitake, Ph.D.
Dr. Akitake is a research scientist studying how networks of the brain encode sensory information used for animal perception and to guide decision-making behaviors. Bradley’s work combines two-photon imaging with optogenetic perturbations during behavior to study how the brain collects, stores, and recalls sensory information. Bradley received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland College Park where he worked with Sergei Sukharev. He did postdoctoral work with Craig Montel at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine before coming to NIMH. Outside of the lab Bradley is a Swim Dad, technology geek, and enjoys playing tennis. You can reach him at email@example.com
Zhishang Zhou, Ph.D.
Dr. Zhou is a research scientist who is studying information processing in primary visual cortex. Zhishang participates in vector, opsin, and calcium indicator selection and optimization, and uses these tools to understand recurrent processing in the cortex. He is interested in understanding visual information processing to natural and artificial stimuli, including natural scenes and movies. Outside the lab Zhishang is an enthusiastic basketball player. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yanting Deng, Ph.D.
Yanting Deng is an optical engineer who focuses on developing and maintaining multiphoton microscopy systems and driving optical technology development. In her PhD work at the University of Buffalo in applied physics, she was the main inventor of Near-Field Stationary Sample Terahertz Spectroscopic Polarimetry. She used this approach with molecular mechanics simulations to understand protein molecular and structural dynamics. She joined the Histed lab in Aug 2019. In her leisure time, Yanting loves watching horror movies and Chinese crosstalk (Xiangsheng) which originated from the city she was born and raised in.
Dr. Jonathan O’Rawe, Ph.D.
Dr. O’Rawe is a postdoc in the group. Prior to joining the lab, Jon obtained his graduate degree from Stony Brook University studying how spatial patterns of functional correlations might shed light on global brain organization. His primary interest is understanding how biological networks transform input into output. How does a brain region’s recurrent organization impact the computations it can perform? You can reach him at email@example.com.
Paul LaFosse is a Ph.D. student via a University of Maryland-NIH graduate partnership program (UMD College Park; Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.) Paul is interested in how brains transform the inputs they receive, from sensation to behavior. He employs two-photon imaging, holographic stimulation, and computational tools to study how feedforward and recurrent processes shape transformations of neural activity. Before joining the lab, Paul worked on a variety of topics between his undergraduate and masters’ work, such as particle physics, biophysical modeling, image analysis, cell culture, and connectomics. Along the way he received his B.A. in Physics from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and his M.S. in Neuroscience at George Mason University. Paul enjoys new experiences outside the lab, from exploring restaurants to the outdoors, and traveling to new places. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ciana is a Ph.D. student in the Brown-NIH graduate partnership program (GPP), who is focusing on understanding the computations underlying perceptual decision-making. Specifically, her work involves perturbing neurons in the visual cortex while both recording the network effects through calcium imaging and tracking changes in the animal’s behavioral performance in a visual discrimination task. Prior to graduate school, she was a postbac at NIH where she investigated physiological changes in the retinal circuit due to mutations in photoreceptors. This provoked her current interest in visual perception. Before this, her undergraduate work at the University of Virginia was on novel treatments for glioblastoma. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing soccer and exploring DC’s restaurant scene. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Nina is a Ph.D. student via a University of Maryland-NIH graduate partnership program (UMD College Park, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.) She is interested in understanding how patterned cortical activity is transformed, leading to perceptual decision making. She received her bachelor’s degree from Colorado College, and went on to work with Chris Moore’s lab at Brown to develop bioluminescent tools to drive and report activity in the brain. In her free time, she likes spending time with her cats and climbing rocks. She’s a big fan of open science and citizen science. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maya is a postbac who graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience. She is currently working on optimizing deep brain single-cell imaging in the dorsal striatum and investigating its role in visual responses. In her free time, she likes exploring the city and its many museums, sampling great food, and playing games of the board and video variety. Maya is applying to neuroscience graduate programs in the fall and hopes to keep doing interesting research for many years to come. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Victoria obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the North Carolina Central University in 2014. Before joining the Histed lab in 2018, she worked as a research specialist and lab manager at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University. During this time, Victoria focused on the genetics of susceptibility to virus infection that naturally-occur in inbred and genetically manipulated mice. Victoria is currently a MLAS graduate student at Drexel University and a proud Philadelphia native who enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending quality time with her family. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that some group members are employees of contracting firms and providing services to the government under the terms of their contracts. Where this applies, titles shown reflect their roles in the group work, and their titles with their contracting firm may differ. Victoria Scott, Bradley Akitake, Zhishang Zhou, and Yanting Deng are providing services to the NIH under a contracting mechanism.
- Hannah Douglas, 2020-2022, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: Ph.D. Program at Princeton Neuroscience Institute
- Josh Wilson, 2020-2022, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: Neurobiology and Behavior Ph.D. Program at Cornell Univ.
- Hannah Goldbach, 2019-2021, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: NIH-Brown GPP Ph.D. program
- Kathryn Bangser, 2019-2021, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: DePaul College of Education
- Anna Li, 2018-2020, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: Univ. of Washington (Seattle) Ph.D. program, neuroscience
- Alessandro Sanzeni, 2016-2019, postdoc. Moved to: Duke University. Now: Assistant Prof, Bocconi Univ.
- Sam Duffy, 2016-19, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: George Washington Univ. MD program
- Paul LaFosse, 2018-19, masters’ student (via George Mason). Moved to: NIH / U Maryland Ph.D. program
- Lauren Ryan, 2016-18, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: New York Univ. Ph.D. program, neuroscience
- Caitlin Leedy, 2016-2018, postbaccalaureate fellow. Moved to: UT Southwestern, MD/Ph.D. program
- Courtney Dobrott, 2017, undergraduate co-op student. Moved to: Univ. Colorado Ph.D. program, neuroscience