SCGB: Scientific Staff

Alyssa Picchini Schaffer, Ph.D.

Alyssa Picchini Schaffer, Ph.D.

Scientific Officer

Alyssa Picchini Schaffer is a scientific officer at the Simons Foundation, where she manages the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB). The SCGB aims to expand our understanding of internal brain processes through computational approaches and cutting-edge experimental technologies in order to discover the nature, role and mechanisms of neural activity that produce cognition. Picchini Schaffer is a neuroscientist and science communicator with an exceptionally diverse background and expertise in neural stem cell biology, pharmacology, policy and media across business, government and academic sectors. She is passionate about fostering collaboration among multidisciplinary teams to address significant questions in neuroscience. Before joining the foundation, Picchini Schaffer was scientific director of TEDMED, an independent division of TED focused on science, health and medicine. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and is an alumna of the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and Lafayette College.


Kim Scobie, Ph.D.

Scientific Associate

Before coming to the Simons Foundation in 2015, Kim Scobie was the basic science research project manager at the Children’s Tumor Foundation, where she implemented, oversaw and managed basic science projects and initiatives. Before that, Scobie was a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. During her fellowship, she studied the contribution of epigenetics to the development and persistence of addiction-like behaviors in mice, publishing 10 papers on the topic over her three years there. As scientific associate, she works closely with the collaboration’s leadership to support and manage its efforts. Scobie holds a B.S. in biology from Fairfield University in Connecticut and a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and biophysical studies from Columbia University, where she focused on the neuroscience of learning and memory.