Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. Viviana Gradinaru completed her B.S. at Caltech and her Ph.D. research at Stanford University. There she played an instrumental role in the early development and applications of optogenetics. During her doctoral studies Dr. Gradinaru also helped train scientists from all over the world in the Optogenetics Innovation Laboratory (OIL) and in summer courses at Cold Spring Harbor. During her postdoctoral work, also at Stanford with Dr. Karl Deisseroth, Dr. Gradinaru pioneered work towards a novel method for intact tissue mapping and phenotyping (known as CLARITY). Dr. Gradinaru is now Assistant Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech as well as the faculty director of the Beckman Institute Optogenetics Neuroscience Initiative and CLARITY (BIONIC) Center. She has recently been awarded the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and been honored as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist and as one of Cell’s 40 under 40. Viviana Gradinaru is also a Pew Scholar, Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator, and Kimmel Scholar for Cancer Research. Dr. Gradinaru’s research interests focus on developing tools and methods for neuroscience (optogenetic actuators and sensors; tissue clearing and imaging) as well as on investigating the mechanisms underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS) and on the long-term effects of DBS on neuronal health, function, and ultimately behavior.