Staff Profiles

Mark J. Schnitzer, Ph.D.

Stanford University

Mark J. Schnitzer is an HHMI Investigator and a Professor in Stanford’s Departments of Biology and Applied Physics. His work has focused on the innovation and application of novel optical imaging technologies, toward understanding how large neural ensembles control animal behavior. In the past 10 years his lab has innovated several technologies that are now widely used, including tiny fluorescence microscopes small enough to be mounted on the head of a freely moving mouse. This technology won The Scientist’s Top Innovation of 2013, and the 2018 Method of the Year from Nature Methods, and is presently used by hundreds of neuroscience labs worldwide in the USA, Asia and Europe. Schnitzer was also a member of the NIH BRAIN Initiative Advisory Committee that wrote the BRAIN 2025 report. His lab is now using his optical inventions extensively to study neural circuits in behaving mice and flies.  His biological interests center on understanding the large-scale circuit dynamics underlying cognition and long-term memory.  Fourteen former trainees from the Schnitzer laboratory are now principal investigators.