Andrew D. Huberman
Andrew D. Huberman (born in 1975 in Palo Alto, California) is an American neuroscientist and tenured Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has made numerous important contributions to the fields of brain development, brain plasticity, and neural regeneration and repair. A large amount of that work focused on the visual system, including the mechanisms that control light-mediated activation of the circadian and autonomic arousal centers in the brain, as well as the brain control over conscious vision or sight.
Huberman was awarded the McKnight Foundation Neuroscience Scholar Award (2013), and a Biomedical Scholar Award from the Pew Charitable Trusts. He is the recipient of the 2017 ARVO Cogan Award for making major contributions to the fields of vision science and efforts to regenerate the visual system and cure blindness.
From 1998-2000, Huberman worked in the laboratory of Irving Zucker and with Marc Breedlove, at University of California, Berkeley, as part of a team that defined how early androgen exposure impacts development, and he performed the first experiments defining the structure of binocular visual pathways that set the circadian clock in the hypothalamus. From 2000-2004, working as a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Barbara Chapman at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, he discovered that neural activity and axon guidance molecules work in concert to ensure proper wiring of binocular maps in the brain. As a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow researcher in the laboratory of Ben A. Barres from 2005-2010, and as an Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Neuroscience at University of California, San Diego from 2011-2015, Huberman pioneered the use of genetic tools for the study of the visual system function, development and disease. Among the Huberman Lab’s discoveries was the finding that specific types of retinal neurons degenerate early in Glaucoma a common blinding disease that depletes sight in > 70 million people worldwide and for which there is currently no cure.
After moving to Stanford in 2016, Huberman discovered and published the use of non-invasive methods such as visual stimulation can enhance regeneration of damaged retinal neurons, leading to partial recovery from blindness, especially when the stimulation is paired with specific forms of gene therapy. The work was covered extensively in the popular press, including TIME Magazine and Scientific American and is part of the National Eye Institute’s Audacious Goals Initiative to restore vision to the blind. The Huberman Lab extended those findings to develop a human clinical trial using virtual reality technology to stimulate regeneration and plasticity of damaged retinal and other visual system neurons.
In 2017, the Huberman Lab created a state-of-the-art virtual reality platform for probing the neural mechanisms underlying pathologic fear and anxiety. That work involved collecting 360-degree video of common fear inducing scenarios such as heights and claustrophobia as well as atypical fear inducing situations such as swimming with Great White Sharks. The Huberman VR platform is directed at developing novel tools for humans to adjust their state in order to promote adaptive coping to stress in daily life and in patients suffering from PTSD.
In May, 2018, the Huberman Laboratory published an Article in the journal Nature reporting their discovery of two new mammalian brain circuits: one that promotes fear and paralysis, and another that promotes “courageous”/confrontational reaction, to visually-evoked threats. That discovery prompted the now ongoing exploration of how these brain regions may be involved in humans suffering from anxiety-related disorders such as phobias, generalized anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Honors and awards
- Williams, T. J.; Pepitone, M. E.; Christensen, S. E.; Cooke, B. M.; Huberman, A. D.; Breedlove, N. J.; Breedlove, T. J.; Jordan, C. L.; Breedlove, S. M. (2000-03-30). "Finger-length ratios and sexual orientation". Nature. 404 (6777): 455–456. doi:10.1038/35006555. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 10761903.
- Muscat, Louise; Huberman, Andrew D.; Jordan, Cynthia L.; Morin, Lawrence P. (2003-11-24). "Crossed and uncrossed retinal projections to the hamster circadian system". The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 466 (4): 513–524. doi:10.1002/cne.10894. ISSN 1096-9861. PMID 14566946.
- Huberman, Andrew D.; Feller, Marla B.; Chapman, Barbara (2008-01-01). "Mechanisms Underlying Development of Visual Maps and Receptive Fields". Annual Review of Neuroscience. 31 (1): 479–509. doi:10.1146/annurev.neuro.31.060407.125533. PMC . PMID 18558864.
- Huberman, Andrew D; Murray, Karl D; Warland, David K; Feldheim, David A; Chapman, Barbara (2005). "Ephrin-As mediate targeting of eye-specific projections to the lateral geniculate nucleus". Nature Neuroscience. 8 (8): 1013–1021. doi:10.1038/nn1505. PMC . PMID 16025110.
- Huberman, Andrew D.; Speer, Colenso M.; Chapman, Barbara (2006-10-19). "Spontaneous retinal activity mediates development of ocular dominance columns and binocular receptive fields in v1". Neuron. 52 (2): 247–254. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2006.07.028. ISSN 0896-6273. PMC . PMID 17046688.
- Huberman, Andrew D.; Manu, Mihai; Koch, Selina M.; Susman, Michael W.; Lutz, Amanda Brosius; Ullian, Erik M.; Baccus, Stephen A.; Barres, Ben A. (2008-08-14). "Architecture and activity-mediated refinement of axonal projections from a mosaic of genetically identified retinal ganglion cells". Neuron. 59 (3): 425–438. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2008.07.018. ISSN 1097-4199. PMID 18701068.
- Huberman, Andrew D.; Wei, Wei; Elstrott, Justin; Stafford, Ben K.; Feller, Marla B.; Barres, Ben A. (2009-05-14). "Genetic identification of an On-Off direction-selective retinal ganglion cell subtype reveals a layer-specific subcortical map of posterior motion". Neuron. 62 (3): 327–334. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.04.014. ISSN 1097-4199. PMC . PMID 19447089.
- Dhande, Onkar S.; Estevez, Maureen E.; Quattrochi, Lauren E.; El-Danaf, Rana N.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Berson, David M.; Huberman, Andrew D. (2013-11-06). "Genetic dissection of retinal inputs to brainstem nuclei controlling image stabilization". The Journal of Neuroscience. 33 (45): 17797–17813. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2778-13.2013. ISSN 1529-2401. PMC . PMID 24198370.
- Osterhout, Jessica A.; Josten, Nicko; Yamada, Jena; Pan, Feng; Wu, Shaw-wen; Nguyen, Phong L.; Panagiotakos, Georgia; Inoue, Yukiko U.; Egusa, Saki F. (2011-08-25). "Cadherin-6 mediates axon-target matching in a non-image-forming visual circuit". Neuron. 71 (4): 632–639. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2011.07.006. ISSN 1097-4199. PMC . PMID 21867880.
- Cruz-Martín, Alberto; El-Danaf, Rana N.; Osakada, Fumitaka; Sriram, Balaji; Dhande, Onkar S.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Callaway, Edward M.; Ghosh, Anirvan; Huberman, Andrew D. (2014-03-20). "A dedicated circuit links direction-selective retinal ganglion cells to the primary visual cortex". Nature. 507 (7492): 358–361. doi:10.1038/nature12989. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC . PMID 24572358.
- Osterhout, Jessica A.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Yoshihara, Yoshihiro; Huberman, Andrew D. (2015-05-20). "Contactin-4 mediates axon-target specificity and functional development of the accessory optic system". Neuron. 86 (4): 985–999. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.04.005. ISSN 1097-4199. PMC . PMID 25959733.
- El-Danaf, Rana N.; Huberman, Andrew D. (2015-02-11). "Characteristic patterns of dendritic remodeling in early-stage glaucoma: evidence from genetically identified retinal ganglion cell types". The Journal of Neuroscience. 35 (6): 2329–2343. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1419-14.2015. ISSN 1529-2401. PMID 25673829.
- Lim, Jung-Hwan A; Stafford, Benjamin K; Nguyen, Phong L; Lien, Brian V; Wang, Chen; Zukor, Katherine; He, Zhigang; Huberman, Andrew D. "Neural activity promotes long-distance, target-specific regeneration of adult retinal axons". Nature Neuroscience. 19 (8): 1073–1084. doi:10.1038/nn.4340. PMID 27399843.
- Salay, Lindsey D.; Ishiko, Nao; Huberman, Andrew D. (2018-05-02). "A midline thalamic circuit determines reactions to visual threat". Nature. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0078-2. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 29720647.