Staff Profiles

Jonathan Ting, Ph.D.

Assistant 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 Interests

Research Interests 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


Selected Publications View Publications

Integrated Morphoelectric and Transcriptomic Classification of Cortical GABAergic Cells

November 12, 2020

Gouwens NW, Sorensen SA, Baftizadeh F, Budzillo A, Lee BR, Jarsky T, Alfiler L, Baker K, Barkan E, Berry K, Bertagnolli D, Bickley K, Bomben J, Braun T, Brouner K, Casper T, Crichton K, Daigle TL, Dalley R, de Frates RA, Dee N, Desta T, Lee SD, Dotson N, Egdorf T, Ellingwood L, Enstrom R, Esposito L, Farrell C, Feng D, Fong O, Gala R, Gamlin C, Gary A, Glandon A, Goldy J, Gorham M, Graybuck L, Gu H, Hadley K, Hawrylycz MJ, Henry AM, Hill D, Hupp M, Kebede S, Kim TK, Kim L, Kroll M, Lee C, Link KE, Mallory M, Mann R, Maxwell M, McGraw M, McMillen D, Mukora A, Ng L, Ng L, Ngo K, Nicovich PR, Oldre A, Park D, Peng H, Penn O, Pham T, Pom A, Popović Z, Potekhina L, Rajanbabu R, Ransford S, Reid D, Rimorin C, Robertson M, Ronellenfitch K, Ruiz A, Sandman D, Smith K, Sulc J, Sunkin SM, Szafer A, Tieu M, Torkelson A, Trinh J, Tung H, Wakeman W, Ward K, Williams G, Zhou Z, Ting JT, Arkhipov A, Sümbül U, Lein ES, Koch C, Yao Z, Tasic B, Berg J, Murphy GJ, Zeng H

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

Epigenetic landscape and AAV targeting of human neocortical cell classes

February 19, 2019

Mich JK, Hess EE, Graybuck LT, Somasundaram S, Miller JA, Ding Y, Shapovalova NV, Fong O, Yao S, Mortrud M, Chong P, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Casper T, Kroll M, Hodge RD, Bakken TE, Yao Z, Dee N, Cetin A, Smith KA, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Gradinaru V, Sunkin SM, Zeng H, Lein ES, Tasic B, Ting JT, Levi BP

Two eARCHT3.0 Lines for Optogenetic Silencing of Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Neurons

Frontiers in Neural Circuits
February 1, 2019

Krol A, Lopez-Huerta VG, Corey TEC, Deisseroth K, Ting JT, Feng G

Distinctive Structural and Molecular Features of Myelinated Inhibitory Axons in Human Neocortex

September 19, 2018

Micheva KD, Chang EF, Nana AL, Seeley WW, Ting JT, Cobbs C, Lein E, Smith SJ, Weinberg RJ, Madison DV

A Suite of Transgenic Driver and Reporter Mouse Lines with Enhanced Brain-Cell-Type Targeting and Functionality

July 12, 2018

Daigle TL, Madisen L, Hage TA, Valley MT, Knoblich U, Larsen RS, Takeno MM, Huang L, Gu H, Larsen R, Mills M, Bosma-Moody A, Siverts LA, Walker M, Graybuck LT, Yao Z, Fong O, Nguyen TN, Garren E, Lenz GH, Chavarha M, Pendergraft J, Harrington J, Hirokawa KE, Harris JA, Nicovich PR, McGraw MJ, Ollerenshaw DR, Smith KA, Baker CA, Ting JT, Sunkin SM, Lecoq J, Lin MZ2, Boyden ES, Murphy GJ, da Costa NM, Waters J, Li L, Tasic B, Zeng H

A robust ex vivo experimental platform for molecular-genetic dissection of adult human neocortical cell types and circuits

Scientific Reports
May 30, 2018

Ting JT, Kalmbach B, Chong P, de Frates R, Keene CD, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Ellenbogen RG, Koch C, Lein E

The ethics of experimenting with human brain tissue

April 25, 2018

Farahany NA, Greely HT, Hyman S, Koch C, Grady C, Pașca SP, Sestan N, Arlotta P, Bernat JL, Ting J, Lunshof JE, Iyer EPR, Hyun I, Capestany BH, Church GM, Huang H, Song H

h-Channels Contribute to Divergent Intrinsic Membrane Properties of Supragranular Pyramidal Neurons in Human versus Mouse Cerebral Cortex

November 1, 2018

Kalmbach BE, Buchin A, Long B, Close J, Nandi A, Miller JA, Bakken TE, Hodge RD, Chong P, de Frates R, Dai K, Maltzer Z, Nicovich PR, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Koch C, Anastassiou CA, Lein ES, Ting JT

Acute brain slice methods for adult and aging animals: application of targeted patch clamp analysis and optogenetics

Methods in Molecular Biology: Patch Clamp Methods and Protocols
June 2014

Jonathan T. Ting, Tanya L. Daigle, Qian Chen, Guoping Feng

Flow of cortical activity underlying a tactile decision in mice

January 2014

Guo ZV, Li N, Huber D, Ophir E, Gutnisky D, Ting JT, Feng G, Svoboda K

Cell-type Specific Optogenetic Mice for Dissecting Neural Circuitry Function

Nature Methods
September 2011

Zhao S, Ting JT, Atallah HE, Qiu L, Tan J, Gloss B, Deisseroth K, Luo M, Graybiel AM, G Feng

Selective optical drive of thalamic reticular nucleus generates thalamic bursts and cortical spindles

Nature Neuroscience
July 2011

Halassa MM, Siegle JH, Ritt J, Ting JT, Feng G, & CI Moore

Shank3 mutant mice display autistic-like behaviours and striatal dysfunction

April 28, 2011

Peça J, Feliciano C, Ting JT, Wang W, Wells MF, Venkatraman TN, Lascola CD, Fu Z, Feng G

SnapShot: Autism and the Synapse

October 2011

Peça J, Ting JT, & G Feng


I am fortunate to collaborate extensively with a talented team of Research Associates, Scientists, and Investigators working toward the common goal of multi-modal functional analysis of human neocortical cell types.