Prof. Ed Boyden receives 2017 NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

Photo of Prof. Ed Boyden
October 5, 2017

Prof. Ed Boyden has received the 2017 NIH Director's Transformative Research Award. This award promotes “cross-cutting, interdisciplinary approaches that could potentially create or challenge existing paradigms.”

Project Title: High-Performance Imaging Through Scattering Living Tissue
Grant ID: R01-DA-045549

Public Health Relevance Statement:
Imaging extended volumes of brain tissue, at rates that keep up with fast events like action potentials, is important for understanding the patterns of neural activity that contribute to brain pathology. However, this is a difficult task because the brain scatters light, making imaging imprecise. We here propose to develop a new technology that will enable the fast volumetric imaging of brain activity, enabling insights into the causes of brain disorders and their remedy, and pointing the way to new clinical targets.

NIH Recepient Bio: Ed Boyden is a professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, which develops tools for analyzing and repairing complex biological systems such as the brain, and applies them systematically to reveal ground truth principles of biological function as well as to repair these systems. These technologies include expansion microscopy, which enables complex biological systems to be imaged with nanoscale precision, and optogenetic tools, which enable the activation and silencing of neural activity with light. He co-directs the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering, which aims to develop new tools to accelerate neuroscience progress. Amongst other recognitions, he has received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2016), the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2015), the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences (2015), the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award (2013), the Grete Lundbeck Brain Prize (2013), the NIH Director's Pioneer Award (2013), the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award (twice, 2012 and 2013), and the Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize (2011), and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2017).


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