Staff Profiles

Cliff Slaughterbeck, Ph.D.

Senior Manager, System Design Engineering

Cliff Slaughterbeck's undergraduate studies were at the University of Idaho (BS Mathematics and BS Physics), followed by graduate work at the University of Washington (PhD Physics) where he studied the surface of ice using an atomic force microscope.

Following graduate school, he joined a data acquisition company doing systems integration of their data acquisition products into large scale instrumentation and control applications. That work led to him joining a small industrial sensor manufacturer where he wrote embedded software for systems control applications. He left that firm to take a job closer to home at a startup company that designed a desktop mass spectrometer. At the demise of the startup, he took a job at the Allen Institute.

Slaughterbeck currently manages the Systems Design team which is part of the Manufacturing and Process Engineering department. The team is responsible for building and integrating instrumentation to help pipeline projects provide high quality and high throughput, with an emphasis on building robust and easy to use systems that produce great data.


Research Interests

My initial role at the Allen Institute was to write the software that was used to acquire the images for the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas. As that project drew to a successful close, my role expanded to help design the instrumentation and tooling that was used to support the subsequent Allen Brain Atlas projects. As the engineering team has grown, my role has become more focused on system integration–making sure that the many different mechanical, electrical, and software portions of a project all work together to create an integrated system.


  • Integrated systems design
  • Microscopy
  • Embedded systems
  • Data acquisition

Research Programs

  • Structured Science

Selected Publications

Survey of spiking in the mouse visual system reveals functional hierarchy

January 20, 2021

Siegle JH, Jia X, Durand S, Gale S, Bennett C, Graddis N, Heller G, Ramirez TK, Choi H, Luviano JA, Groblewski PA, Ahmed R, Arkhipov A, Bernard A, Billeh YN, Brown D, Buice MA, Cain N, Caldejon S, Casal L, Cho A, Chvilicek M, Cox TC, Dai K, Denman DJ, de Vries S., Dietzman R, Esposito L, Farrell C, Feng D, Galbraith J, Garrett M, Gelfand EC, Hancock N, Harris JA, Howard R, Hu B, Hytnen R, Iyer R, Jessett E, Johnson K, Kato I, Kiggins J, Lambert S, Lecoq J, Ledochowitsch P, Lee JH, Leon A, Li Y, Liang E, Long F, Mace K, Melchior J, Millman D, Mollenkopf T, Nayan C, Ng L, Ngo D, Nguyen T, Nicovich PR, North K, Ocker GK, Ollerenshaw D, Oliver M, Pachitariu M, Perkins J, Reding M, Reid D, Robertson M, Ronellenfitch K, Seid S, Slaughterbeck C, Stoecklin M, Sullivan D, Sutton B, Swapp J, Thompson C, Turner K, Wakeman W, Whitesell JD, Williams D, Williford A, Young R, Zeng H, Naylor S, Phillips JW, Reid RC, Mihalas S, Olsen SR, Koch C

A standardized head-fixation system for performing large-scale, in vivo physiological recordings in mice

Journal of Neuroscience Methods
September 15, 2020

Groblewski PA, Sullivan D, Lecoq J, de Vries SEJ, Caldejon S, L'Heureux Q, Keenan T, Roll K, Slaughterback C, Williford A, Farrell C

Aberration-free multi-plane imaging of neural activity from the mammalian brain using a fast-switching liquid crystal spatial light modulator

Biomed Opt Express
September 11, 2019

Liu R, Ball N, Brockill J, Kuan L, Millman D, White C, Leon A, Williams D, Nishiwaki S, de Vries S, Larkin J, Sullivan D, Slaughterbeck C, Farrell C, Saggau P

Classification of electrophysiological and morphological neuron types in mouse visual cortex

Nature Neuroscience
June 17, 2019

Gouwens NW, Sorensen SA, Berg J, Lee C, Jarsky T, Ting J, Sunkin S, Feng D, Anastassiou C, Barkan E, Bickley K, Blesie N, Braun T, Brouner K, Budzillo A, Caldejon S, Casper T, Castelli D, Chong P, Crichton K, Cuhaciyan C, Daigle T, Dalley R, Dee N, Desta T, Dingman S, Doperalski A, Dotson N, Egdorf T, Fisher M, de Frates RA, Garren E, Garwood M, Gary A, Gaudreault N, Godfrey K, Gorham M, Gu H, Habel C, Hadley K, Harrington J, Harris J, Henry A, Hill D, Josephsen S, Kebede S, Kim L, Kroll M, Lee B, Lemon T, Liu X, Long B, Mann R, McGraw M, Mihalas S, Mukora A, Murphy GJ, Ng L, Ngo K, Nguyen TN, Nicovich PR, Oldre A, Park D, Parry S, Perkins J, Potekhina L, Reid D, Robertson M, Sandman D, Schroedter M, Slaughterbeck C, Soler-Llavina C, Sulc J, Szafer A, Tasic B, Taskin N, Teeter C, Thatra N, Tung H, Wakeman W, Williams G, Young R, Zhou Z, Farrell C, Peng H, Hawrylycz MJ, Lein E, Ng L, Arkhipov A, Bernard A, Phillips J, Zeng H, Koch C

Biological variation in the sizes, shapes and locations of visual cortical areas in the mouse

PLoS One
May 1, 2019

Waters J, Lee E, Gaudreault N, Griffin F, Lecoq J, Slaughterbeck C, Sullivan D, Farrell C, Perkins J, Reid D, Feng D, Graddis N, Garrett M, Li Y, Long F, Mochizuki C, Roll K, Zhuang J, Thompson C

A large-scale, standardized physiological survey reveals higher order coding throughout the mouse visual cortex

Nature Neuroscience
December 16, 2019

de Vries S, Lecoq J, Buice MA, Groblewski PA, Ocker GK, Oliver M, Feng F, Cain N, Ledochowitsch P, Millman D, Roll K, Garrett M, Keenan T, Kuan L, Mihalas S, Olsen S, Thompson C, Wakeman W, Waters J, Williams D, Barber C, Berbesque N, Blanchard B, Bowles N, Caldejon S, Casal L, Cho A, Cross S, Dang C, Dolbeare T, Edwards M, Galbraith J, Gaudreault N, Griffin F, Hargrave P, Howard R, Huang L, Jewell S, Keller N, Knoblich U, Larkin J, Larsen R, Lau C, Lee E, Lee F, Leon A, Li L, Long F, Luviano J, Mace K, Nguyen T, Perkins J, Robertson M, Seid S, Shea-Brown E, Shi J, Sjoquist N, Slaughterbeck C, Sullivan D, Valenza R, White C, Williford A, Witten D, Zhuang J, Zeng H, Farrell C, Ng L, Bernard A, Phillips JW, R Reid C, Koch C

An anatomic transcriptional atlas of human glioblastoma

May 11, 2018

Puchalski RB, Shah N, Miller J, Dalley R, Nomura SR, Yoon JG, Smith KA, Lankerovich M, Bertagnolli D, Bickley K, Boe AF, Brouner K, Butler S, Caldejon S, Chapin M, Datta S, Dee N, Desta T, Dolbeare T, Dotson N, Ebbert A, Feng D, Feng X, Fisher M, Gee G, Goldy J, Gourley L, Gregor BW, Gu G, Hejazinia N, Hohmann J, Hothi P, Howard R, Joines K, Kriedberg A, Kuan L, Lau C, Lee F, Lee H, Lemon T, Long F, Mastan N, Mott E, Murthy C, Ngo K, Olson E, Reding M, Riley Z, Rosen D, Sandman D, Shapovalova N, Slaughterbeck CR, Sodt A, Stockdale G, Szafer A, Wakeman W, Wohnoutka PE, White SJ, Marsh D, Rostomily RC, Ng L, Dang C, Jones A, Keogh B, Gittleman HR, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Cimino PJ, Uppin MS, Keene CD, Farrokhi FR, Lathia JD, Berens ME, Iavarone A, Amy Bernard A, Lein E, Phillips JW, Rostad SW, Cobbs C, Hawrylycz MJ, Foltz GD


The Systems Design team includes Derrick Brittain, Perry Hargrave, and Dan Castelli.  We also make use of several contractors to help us with a number of projects.