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Ed Lein Headshot

Ed Lein, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator


Ed Lein is a Senior Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science and an Affiliate Professor in the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP) at the University of Washington. He received a B.S. in biochemistry from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from UC Berkeley, and performed postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Ed joined the Allen Institute in 2004 and has provided scientific leadership for the creation of large-scale anatomical, cellular and gene expression atlases of the adult and developing mammalian brain as catalytic community resources, including the inaugural Allen Mouse Brain Atlas and a range of developmental and adult human and non-human primate brain atlases. Particular current research interests involve the use of single cell genomics as a core phenotype to understand brain cellular organization, mammalian conservation and human specificity, define cellular vulnerability in disease, and identify regulatory elements that allow cell type-specific targeting and manipulation.

He leads the Human Cell Types Department, which aims to create comprehensive cell atlases of the human and non-human primate brain, understand what is disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease, and create tools for precision genetic targeting of brain cell types as transformative tools for basic neuroscience and gene therapy. He is also a member of the BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network (BICAN), a member of the Organizing Committee of the Human Cell Atlas (HCA), and a CIFAR fellow.

Ed’s areas of expertise include developmental neurobiology, structural and cellular neuroanatomy, transcriptomics and epigenomics, comparative neurobiology, and Alzheimer’s disease. His research program work encompasses brain cell atlasing, comparative neurobiology, Alzheimer’s disease, and gene therapy.

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