Marlene Cohen is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Chicago. She received bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and in brain and cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University after working with Bill Newsome studying how interactions between neurons depend on how animals plan to use the sensory information they encode. Her postdoctoral research with John Maunsell at Harvard Medical School used visual attention as a tool to understand which aspects of a cortical population code are important. She joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, and her lab moved to the University of Chicago in 2022.
Her group uses physiological, behavioral and computational methods to study the neural basis of vision and cognition. She received the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences, the Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology, a Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences, a Whitehall Foundation Grant, a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.