Doris Tsao is a professor of biology at the University of California Berkeley and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She joined UC Berkeley in 2021 and prior to that was professor at Caltech from 2009 to 2021. She studied biology and mathematics at Caltech as an undergraduate and received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard in 2002. Her central interest is in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying vision. Her lab seeks to understand how visual objects are represented in the brain and how these representations are used to guide behavior. Her lab is investigating mechanisms at multiple stages in the visual hierarchy, from early processes for segmenting visual input into discrete objects, to mid- and high-level perceptual processes for assigning meaningful identity to specific objects, to processes by which these perceptual representations govern behavior. Techniques used include: electrophysiology, fMRI, electrical microstimulation, optogenetics, anatomical tracing, psychophysics and mathematical modeling.
She has received multiple honors including the Sofia Kovalevskaya Award (2004), Eppendorf & Science International Prize in Neurobiology (2006) and the MacArthur Fellowship (2018). She was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2020.