J. Chichilnisky is the John R. Adler Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, where he has been since 2013 after 15 years at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He received his M.S. in mathematics and Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University. His research program focuses on understanding the spatiotemporal patterns of electrical activity in the retina that convey visual information to the brain, and their origins in retinal circuitry, using large-scale multi-electrode recordings. His lab also works on physiological experiments with electrical stimulation aimed at advancing the design of visual prostheses for treating blindness. He has directed or taught at the Cold Spring Harbor Computational Vision course since 1998. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a McKnight Scholar Award, and a McKnight Technological Innovation in Neuroscience Award.
A recent revolution in recording technology and computation make possible the systematic investigation of large neural circuits in the brain and their role in the life of the organism. With this opportunity comes a challenge: coupling functional and anatomical measurements of the neural circuitry with computational frameworks to synthesize, advance and disseminate scientific understanding. Chichilnisky’s lab focuses on this problem in the eye and the retina, where physiological optics, transduction of light, and neural information processing begin the process of seeing. The lab aims to create a comprehensive resource for modeling and understanding this aspect of visual system function.