Karl Deisseroth

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Karl Deisseroth
Born (1971-11-18) November 18, 1971 (age 43)
Nationality American
Fields Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Bioengineering
Institutions Stanford University, Karolinska Institutet
Alma mater Harvard University, Stanford University
Known for Optogenetics, CLARITY
Notable awards Golden Brain Award (2009)
Richard Lounsbery Award (2013)
Dickson Prize in Science (2013)
Keio Medical Science Prize (2014)

Karl Deisseroth (born 18 November 1971) M.D., Ph.D. is the D. H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He earned his A.B. in biochemical sciences from Harvard University and his M.D./Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University in 1998, and completed medical internship and psychiatry residency at Stanford Medical School. He is known for creating and developing the technologies of CLARITY and optogenetics, and for applying integrated optical and genetic strategies to study normal neural circuit function as well as dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease. He has led his laboratory at Stanford University since 2004, serves as an attending physician at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and has been affiliated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) since 2009.[1] [2]


In 2005 Deisseroth's laboratory, including graduate students Edward Boyden and Feng Zhang, published the first demonstration of the use of microbial opsin genes to achieve optogenetic control of neurons, allowing reliable control of action potentials with light at millisecond precision.[3] Deisseroth named this field "optogenetics" in 2006 and followed up with optogenetic technology development work, leading to many applications including to psychiatry and neurology. In 2010, the journal Nature Methods named optogenetics "Method of the Year".[4] In 2013, Deisseroth was senior author of a paper on a new technology named CLARITY, with first author postdoctoral fellow in his lab Kwanghun Chung, which makes biological tissues such as mammalian brains translucent and accessible to molecular probes.[5][6]

Deisseroth is the recipient of the NIH Pioneer Award, 2010 HFSP Nakasone Prize, the 2010 Koetser Prize, the 2011 W. Alden Spencer Award,[7] the 2012 Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize, the 2013 Lounsbery Award, and the 2015 Albany Medical Center Prize.[8] Deisseroth is a member of the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences. Deisseroth is also a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member and NARSAD Grantee.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Karl Deisseroth". Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Smith, Kerri (29 May 2013). "Neuroscience: Method man". Nature News. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Boyden ES; Zhang F; Bamberg E; Nagel G; Deisseroth K. (September 2005). "Millisecond-timescale, genetically targeted optical control of neural activity". Nature Neuroscience 8 (9): 1263–8. doi:10.1038/nn1525. PMID 16116447. 
  4. ^ "Method of the Year 2010". Nature Methods 8 (1): 1–1. 20 December 2010. doi:10.1038/nmeth.f.321. 
  5. ^ Brains as Clear as Jell-O for Scientists to Explore April 10, 2013 New York Times
  6. ^ Chung, Kwanghun; Wallace, Jenelle; Kim, Sung-Yon; Kalyanasundaram, Sandhiya; Andalman, Aaron S.; Davidson, Thomas J.; Mirzabekov, Julie J.; Zalocusky, Kelly A.; Mattis, Joanna; Denisin, Aleksandra K.; Pak, Sally; Bernstein, Hannah; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Grosenick, Logan; Gradinaru, Viviana; Deisseroth, Karl (10 April 2013). "Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological systems". Nature 497 (7449): 332–337. doi:10.1038/nature12107. PMID 23575631. 
  7. ^ "34th Annual W. Alden Spencer Award and Lecture". Columbia University. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Albany Medical Center Prize 2015