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Headshot of Luke Campagnola

Luke Campagnola, Ph.D.

Scientist III


Luke joined the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2015 as part of a team investigating circuits and synaptic properties in the mouse neocortex. Prior to joining the institute, his pre- and postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focused on understanding the circuitry that underlies the lowest levels of auditory information processing. For his doctoral research under Dr. Paul Manis, Luke used in vitro photostimulation to map and characterize the synaptic connections in the cochlear nucleus. As a postdoc, he used these characterizations to develop a physiological model of the cochlear nucleus circuit. Luke received his BS in physics from the Colorado School of Mines and his PhD in neurobiology from the University of North Carolina.

Research Focus:

The vast complexity of the brain makes it one of the most interesting and difficult topics in science today. Many hypotheses about the brain can only be tested by constructing a physiological model of comparable complexity. This, in turn, relies on experiments that yield detailed information about the substrate of the brain—intrinsic cell properties, circuit connectivity, and synapse properties. These two aspects of neuroscience—modelling and experimentation—form a feedback loop that moves us iteratively toward better models: experimental output drives new models, and model output guides the design of new experiments. I am interested in the use and development high-throughput methods to characterize synapse properties such as connectivity, strength, kinetics and short term plasticity, with emphasis on generating the data we need to constrain circuit models. Ultimately, collecting this data will require a combination of techniques including parallel patch-clamp recordings, photostimulation mapping, tracer injections, and a variety of genetic tools.


  • Systems neuroscience

  • Patch electrophysiology and optophysiology

  • Physiological circuit modelling

Research Programs

  • Structured Science

  • Research Science -- Cell Types

News & Events

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