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Jonathan Ting, Ph.D.

Associate Investigator


Jonathan T. Ting joined the Allen Institute in 2013 to provide electrophysiology expertise for the Human Cell Types program and to develop functional assays on human ex vivo brain slices. Ting has 15 years of experience in patch clamp electrophysiology encompassing both primary neuron cultures and acute brain slices. In his postdoctoral fellowships at Duke University and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, he studied the neural circuitry basis of psychiatric disorders and developed and characterized several transgenic mouse lines now widely employed for optogenetic control of nervous system function.  Ting previously earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology & Behavior and conducted his thesis research in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from the University of California at Davis.

Research Focus:

A comprehensive analysis of the architecture and function of the human brain requires a multifaceted strategy for revealing the true complexity and diversity of cell types that reside within. It is the exquisite and complex assembly of these unique cell types into distinct functional circuits that enables us to perform essential tasks such as sensory perception, coordinated movement, cognition, and more. Although much effort has been devoted to anatomical mapping of the human brain using post-mortem tissue in both health and disease, the detailed analysis of functions subserved by individual cells within the living human brain has been more challenging to explore. To achieve this goal, we have established extensive research collaborations with local neurosurgeons in the greater-Seattle area to routinely obtain neurosurgical samples of human cortex for research purposes. The vital human brain tissue is transported to the Allen Institute and sectioned into brain slices for detailed analysis using diverse methodologies including patch clamp electrophysiology, optical imaging, single cell transcriptomic profiling, morphological reconstructions, and array tomography. We hope this effort will culminate in a comprehensive classification of cell types of the human neocortex.


  • Patch clamp electrophysiology

  • Synaptic physiology

  • Molecular biology

  • Gene targeting and transgene expression strategies

  • Viral gene delivery

  • Organotypic brain slice culture

  • Adult animal brain slice methods

Research Programs

  • Human cell types

Project co-lead

  • In vitro single cell characterization (IVSCC) project

  • Human Epilepsy Translational project

  • Human Genetic Tools project

News & Events

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