Edward Boyden

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Edward "Ed" Boyden

Edward "Ed" S. Boyden is a neuroscientist at MIT. He is a faculty member in the MIT Media Lab and an associate member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. He is recognized for his work on optogenetics. In this technology, a light-sensitive ion channel such as channelrhodopsin-2 is genetically expressed in neurons, allowing neuronal activity to be controlled by light. There were early efforts to achieve targeted optical control dating back to 2002 that did not involve a directly light-activated ion channel,[1] but it was the method based on directly light-activated channels from microbes, such as channelrhodopsin, emerging in 2005 that turned out to be broadly useful. Optogenetics in this way has been widely adopted by neuroscientists as a research tool, and it is also thought to have potential therapeutic applications.[2] Boyden joined the MIT faculty in 2007, and continues to develop new optogenetic tools as well as other technologies for the manipulation of brain activity.

In 2008 Boyden was named by Discover Magazine as one of the top 20 scientists under 40.[3] In 2006, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[4]


  1. ^ Zemelman; Lee GA; Ng M; Miesenböck G. (2002). "Selective photostimulation of genetically chARGed neurons". Neuron 3 (33): 15–22. doi:10.1016/S0896-6273(01)00574-8. PMID 11779476. 
  2. ^ "Rewiring the Brain: Inside the New Science of Neuroengineering". Wired. March 2, 2009. 
  3. ^ http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/discover-1113.html
  4. ^ "2006 Young Innovators Under 35". Technology Review. 2006. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 

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