Staff Profiles

Markus Meister, Ph.D.

California Institute of Technology

Markus Meister has researched the circuit functions of the retina since 1987. Early on he pioneered the use of multi-electrode arrays for parallel recording from many of the retina's output neurons. Together with new approaches to visual stimulation, this opened new windows on what visual processing is accomplished in the retina. It is now clear that each of the ~20 types of retinal ganglion cell reports to the brain some rather specific features of the visual scene (Gollisch & Meister 2010 Neuron 65, 150). In recent years, Dr. Meister's attention has focused on how these computations are accomplished within the circuits of the retina. For this purpose he has expanded his toolkit in two directions: electrophysiology methods (intracellular, cell-attached, whole-cell recordings) suitable to probing synaptic connectivity; and new molecular methods for cell-specific labeling, modification of circuits, and optogenetic stimulation. Dr. Meister received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. He is currently Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University.