Staff Profiles

John Tuthill, Ph.D.

University of Washington

John Tuthill hails from the boreal forest of central Maine. After graduating from Waterville High School, John received his B.A. in Biology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College in 2006. He then worked as a cabinetmaker in Montana and crab electrophysiologist in Argentina before completing a PhD in Michael Reiser’s lab at HHMI/Janelia in 2012. For his doctoral work, John studied the algorithmic implementation of visual motion detection in the miniature brain of the fruit fly, Drosophila. As a post-doc in Rachel Wilson’s lab at Harvard, he pioneered the study of touch processing in sensorimotor neural circuits of the fly. John is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington. His lab combines genetic tools with electrophysiology and optical imaging to understand how the fly brain senses the body and controls behavior. In 2017, John was named a Klingenstein-Simons Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and Searle Scholar. Outside the lab, John is an amateur historian of inclement weather and a dedicated flurry chaser.