People

Powering the Zuckerman Institute's engine of discovery will be no fewer than 65 principal investigators, presiding over state-of-the-art laboratories at the Greene Science Center. Because breakthroughs often occur at the intersection of disciplines, the Institute will bring together 1,000 researchers—including graduate students and post-doctoral investigators—representing multiple fields, including cell biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, psychology, sociology, and statistics.

Researchers based at the Greene Science Center will reach across the University to conduct interdisciplinary work with Columbia faculty in the arts, business, law, and public affairs at the Morningside Heights campus and with clinical faculty at Columbia University Medical Center. These diverse and wide-ranging interactions will energize thinking and foster scientific breakthroughs.

The Institute is led by three of Columbia's most distinguished scientists. Richard Axel, MD, has performed pioneering work mapping the genetics and molecular biology of the olfactory system—research that earned him a Nobel Prize in 2004. Thomas M. Jessell, PhD, is a leading expert on the spinal-cord circuits that control movement and winner of the inaugural Kavli Prize in 2008. Eric Kandel, MD, has conducted seminal work showing how learning permanently alters synaptic connections between neurons—research recognized with a Nobel Prize in 2000.

Mind Brain Behavior at Columbia: A Sampling of Institute Scientists

Larry AbbottModeling Perception and Behavior
Richard Axel
Richard AxelCombining Molecular Genetics with Neuroscience
Rudy BehniaLocating the Brain’s Motion Detectors
Randy BrunoChanging Minds About How the Brain is Wired
John CunninghamTeasing Signals from the Brain
Stefano FusiDesigning Computers that Resemble the Human Brain
Wesley Grueber Charting the Growth of Brain Cells’ Branches
Elizabeth Hillman
Elizabeth HillmanEngineering New Tools for Imaging the Brain
Thomas Jessell
Thomas JessellCollaborative Thinking at the Zuckerman Institute
Eric Kandel
Eric KandelHow Our Brains Perceive Art
Minoree KohwiDiscovering the Symphony of Signals that Guide Brain Development
Stavros LomvardasBy Studying Smell, Understanding the Brain
Franck PolleuxHow the Human Brain Evolved — and Why It Matters
Daphna ShohamyAt the Intersection of Learning and Memory
Sarah WoolleyWhat Songbirds Can Teach Us About Human Speech and Language
Charles ZukerThe Signals that Guide Our Sense of Taste