Rafael Yuste, MD, PhD

Rafael Yuste is Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience at Columbia University. He was born and educated in Madrid, where he obtained his MD at the Universidad Autónoma in the Fundación Jimenez Diaz Hospital. After a brief research period in Sydney Brenner's group at the LMB in Cambridge, UK, he performed PhD studies with Larry Katz in Torsten Wiesel’s laboratory at Rockefeller University in New York. He then moved to Bell Labs, where he was a postdoctoral student of David Tank and Winfried Denk.

In 1996 he joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. In 2005 he became HHMI Investigator and Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia. He is a visiting researcher in Javier DeFelipe’s laboratory at the Cajal Institute/UPM in Madrid since 1997, and since 2012 at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Yuste is interested in the structure and function of cortical circuits, the biophysical properties of dendritic spines and the pathophysiology of epilepsy. To study these questions, Yuste has pioneered the application of imaging techniques, such as calcium imaging of neuronal circuits, two-photon imaging, photostimulation using caged compounds and holographic spatial light modulation microscopy. These technical developments have resulted in several patents, two of which are commercially licensed.

Yuste has obtained many awards for his work, including New York City Mayor's and the Society for Neuroscience's Young Investigator Awards. Finally, he has been recently involved in launching the Brain Activity Map, an large-scale scientific project that aims to develop tools to systematically record and manipulate the activity of complete neural circuits. This initiative (now termed “Brain Research through Advancing
Innovative Neurotechnologies: BRAIN”) has been recently endorsed by President Obama.

Lab Website: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/faculty/yuste/