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Tim Jarsky, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Electrophysiology


Tim Jarsky joined the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2013 as part of the Mouse Cell Types research program. Tim is part of a team of scientists working to map and characterize microcircuits in the mouse visual cortex.  Prior to joining the institute, he investigated the contribution of synaptic processing to visual computations in the retina. As a doctoral student he studied the role of intrinsic membrane properties in hippocampal information processing. His early research experiences include respiratory physiology, circadian rhythms, endocrine physiology, and avian flight physiology. Tim obtained his PhD in neuroscience from Northwestern University, MS in zoology and BS in biology from the University of Toronto.

Research Focus:

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is in the early stages of a large-scale, multi-year, experimental and theoretical effort to study coding in the cerebral cortex. A critical component of this effort is to systematically characterize neuronal cell types in the cortex and its afferent and efferent structures at molecular, anatomical, and physiological levels. One goal for the physiological study of neuronal cell types is to investigate synaptic connections formed by cell types, with in vitro preparations, using electrical and optical activation combined with multiple simultaneous neuronal recordings. Using this approach, we will address the following questions: Do different subpopulations of cells, defined by genetic markers, form discrete microcircuits? How do connectivity and the synaptic properties of the circuit influence circuit computations? Do the microcircuit properties correlate with functional properties?