Staff Profiles

Luke Esposito, Ph.D.

Sr. Director, Scientific Operations

Luke Esposito joined the Allen Institute in 2017 and currently serves as Director, Scientific Operations for the Brain Science team.  His overall goal is to facilitate the integration of best practices in scientific research and development with innovative business approaches to further accelerate the operational efficiency of the Institute.  He works in conjunction with both the scientific and program management teams to further this aim.

Esposito comes to the Allen Institute after spending a decade in the Seattle area biotechnology industry, much of this time at ProteoTech, Inc. (later ProtaMed, Inc.) where he last served as Vice President of Product Development and led a team of scientists developing small molecule therapeutics targeting misfolded proteins as potential treatments for neurodegenerative disease. These programs included a variety of target molecules and disease indications, with a specific emphasis on Parkinson’s disease and its pathological hallmark, α-synuclein.  Prior to this, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease at the University of California San Francisco, he studied how cellular stressors, such as mitochondrial oxidative stress and p53-dependent pro-apoptotic signaling, synergize with the amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide to accelerate neurodegeneration in models of Alzheimer’s Disease. Peer recognition of Esposito’s expertise in the field of neurodegeneration and Parkinson’s Disease includes his service as a journal review editor, invited author, and grant reviewer.

He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Emory University, studying the role of genetically-induced bioenergetic deficits in mitochondrial disease and aging, and he earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Boston College, where he purified proteins for use in x-ray crystallography studies.



Research Interests



  • Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Research Operations
  • Drug Discovery
  • Protein Misfolding
  • Mitochondrial Bioenergetics

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

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