Staff Profiles

Rafael Yuste, M.D., Ph.D.

Columbia University

Rafael Yuste is Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience at Columbia University. He was born in Madrid, where he obtained his M.D. at the Universidad Autónoma. After a brief period in Sydney Brenner's laboratory in Cambridge, UK, he performed Ph.D. studies with Larry Katz in Torsten Wiesel’s laboratory at Rockefeller University and was a postdoctoral student of David Tank at Bell Labs. In 1996 he joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where he is Full Professor. In 2005 he became HHMI Investigator and co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Circuits and in 2014 Director of the Neurotechnology Center at Columbia. Yuste is interested in the structure and function of cortical circuits, the biophysical properties of dendritic spines and the pathophysiology of cortical diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. To study these questions, Yuste has pioneered the development of imaging techniques, such as calcium imaging of neuronal circuits, two-photon imaging of spines and circuits, photostimulation using inorganic caged compounds, two-photon optogenetics and holographic microscopy. Yuste has obtained many awards, including New York City Mayor's, the Society for Neuroscience's Young Investigator and the NIH Director Pioneer Awards. Finally, he led the group of researchers who proposed the Brain Activity Map Project, recently sponsored by the White House’s BRAIN initiative.