Timothy Machado and Chaogu Zheng are the winners of the 2015 Kavli Institute Award for Distinguished Research in Neuroscience

Machado and Zheng share this year’s award
By C. Doyle
May 17, 2016

The recipients of the 2015 Kavli Award for Distinguished Research in Neuroscience at Columbia University are Timothy Machado, a Neurobiology and Behavior graduate student who completed his thesis work in the laboratories of Tom Jessell and Liam Paninski, and Chaogu Zheng, a Biological Sciences graduate student who completed his thesis work in the laboratory of Martin Chalfie.

In Timothy’s thesis, “Probing circuits for spinal motor control,” he made advances in the analysis of neural network activity in cortical regions, through his development of new methods for rapid imaging of neuronal calcium transients, and analysis of this activity to infer underlying spike train activity. Timothy is now Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Cognescent, a company developing novel machine learning algorithms and techniques to build non-invasive brain machine interfaces.

Tim Machado


Chaogu Zheng’s thesis, “Genetic basis of neuronal subtype differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans,” utilized touch receptor neurons to investigate the genetic basis of cell type specification in the nervous system. He found that the activity of Hox genes can control neuronal subtype differences and identified mechanisms that regulate the morphological diversification among the subtypes. Chaogu is currently remaining in the Chalfie lab as a postdoctoral fellow, to continue his work on neuronal cell fate decision and the role of microtubules in neuronal morphogenesis.

Chaogu Zheng


Congratulations to Tim and Chaogu!