Staff Profiles

Pooja Balaram, Ph.D.

Scientist II

Pooja joined the Allen Institute in 2018 as a part of the Cell Types program. Her work focuses on the anatomical and physiological characterization of rare cell types in mouse and human brains. Prior to joining the Institute, Pooja received a B.S. and Ph.D in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her graduate work in Jon Kaas’ lab demonstrated transcriptomic variations in glutamate signaling within visual brain areas that contributed to differences in visual connectivity and physiology across a range of primate and rodent species. Pooja then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Daniel Polley’s lab at the Massachussetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School, where she examined transcriptomic shifts in auditory brain areas following acute hearing loss. Pooja brings a diverse range of expertise to her projects at the Allen Institute, including cellular and molecular neuroscience, neuroanatomy, and in-vivo optical physiology.

Selected Publications

A hybrid open-top light-sheet microscope for versatile multi-scale imaging of cleared tissues

Nature Methods
May 11, 2022

Glaser AK, Bishop KW, Barner LA, Susaki EA, Kubota SI, Gao G, Serafin RB, Balaram P, Turschak E, Nicovich PR, Lai H, Lucas LAG, Yi Y, Nichols EK, Huang H, Reder NP, Wilson JJ, Sivakumar R, Shamskhou E, Stoltzfus CR, Wei X, Hempton AK, Pende M, Murawala P, Dodt HU, Imaizumi T, Shendure J, Beliveau BJ, Gerner MY, Xin L, Zhao H, True LD, Reid RC, Chandrashekar J, Ueda HR, Svoboda K, Liu JTC

Enhancer viruses for combinatorial cell-subclass-specific labeling

March 23, 2021

Graybuck LT, Daigle TL, Sedeño-Cortés AE, Walker M, Kalmbach B, Lenz GH, Morin E, Nguyen TN, Garren E, Bendrick JL, Kim TK, Zhou T, Mortrud M, Yao S, Siverts LA, Larsen R, Gore BB, Szelenyi ER, Trader C, Balaram P, van Velthoven CTJ, Chiang M, Mich JK, Dee N, Goldy J, Cetin AH, Smith K, Way SW, Esposito L, Yao Z, Gradinaru V, Sunkin SM, Lein E, Levi BP, Ting JT, Zeng H, Tasic B.

RecV recombinase system for in vivo targeted optogenomic modifications of single cells or cell populations

Nature Methods
March 23, 2020

Yao S, Yuan P, Ouellette B, Zhou T, Mortrud M, Balaram P, Chatterjee S, Wang Y, Daigle TL, Tasic B, Kuang X, Gong H, Luo Q, Zeng S, Curtright A, Dhaka A, Kahan A, Gradinaru V, Chrapkiewicz R, Schnitzer M, Zeng H, Cetin A