Team

Staff Profiles

Susan Sunkin, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Program Management

Susan Sunkin joined the Allen Institute in 2004 and currently serves as the Associate Director, Program Management and the Scientific Program Manager for the Cell Types Program, which is performing a systematic investigation of cell type properties and connectivity to derive a cell type classification scheme and a taxonomy or “Periodic Table” of cell types in parallel in mouse V1 and human middle temporal gyrus (MTG), and to test the universality of this cellular makeup across other cortical regions.  This approach will generate tools for genetic access, single cell phenotypic data, and knowledge (classification and characterization of types) that will be used to generate computational models of cortical function. Prior to her current role, she was the initial Production Manager for the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas and then managed large-scale and collaborative projects, such as the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain and the NIH Blueprint Non-Human Primate (NHP) Atlas.

Before joining the Allen Institute, she spent nearly three years in the production environments at Celltech R & D, Inc. and Genelex Corporation. At Celltech, Susan was manager of the Core Technology Group, which performed a variety of services, including genotyping, sequencing, quantitation, and bioinformatics. In addition, her group was responsible for methods development for the genomics department and for automating genomics and molecular biology procedures for the entire R & D facility. At Genelex, she was the Director of Genome Services, responsible for managing genomics contract research projects and for supervising the production of human identity testing data generated by the paternity and forensics groups.

Susan holds a B.A. in microbiology from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, biochemistry, and microbiology from the University of Cincinnati. She did her post-doctoral training at the University of Cincinnati and the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

Selected Publications View Publications

Single-cell and single-nucleus RNA-seq uncovers shared and distinct axes of variation in dorsal LGN neurons in mice, non-human primates, and humans

eLife
September 2, 2021

Bakken TE, van Velthoven CT, Menon V, Hodge RD, Yao Z, Nguyen TN, Graybuck LT, Horwitz GD, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Yanny AM, Garren E, Parry S, Casper T, Shehata SI, Barkan ER, Szafer A, Levi BP, Dee N, Smith KA, Sunkin SM, Bernard A, Phillips J, Hawrylycz MJ, Koch C, Murphy GJ, Lein E, Zeng H, Tasic B

A taxonomy of transcriptomic cell types across the isocortex and hippocampal formation

Cell
May 17, 2021

Yao Z, van Velthoven CTJ, Nguyen TN, Goldy J, Sedeno-Cortes AE, Baftizadeh F, Bertagnolli D, Casper T, Chiang M, Crichton K, Ding SL, Fong O, Garren E, Glandon A, Gouwens NW, Gray J, Graybuck LT, Hawrylycz MJ, Hirschstein D, Kroll M, Lathia K, Lee C, Levi B, McMillen D, Mok S, Pham T, Ren Q, Rimorin C, Shapovalova N, Sulc J, Sunkin SM, Tieu M, Torkelson A, Tung H, Ward K, Dee N, Smith KA, Tasic B, Zeng H.

Functional enhancer elements drive subclass-selective expression from mouse to primate neocortex

Cell Reports
March 30, 2021

Mich JK, Graybuck LT, Hess EE, Mahoney JT, Kojima Y, Ding Y, Somasundaram S, Miller JA, Kalmbach BE, Radaelli C, Gore BB, Weed N, Omstead V, Bishaw Y, Shapovalova NV, Martinez RA, Fong O, Yao S, Mortrud M, Chong P, Loftus L, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Casper T, Dee N, Opitz-Araya X, Cetin A, Smith KA, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Sunkin SM, Gradinaru V, Horwitz GD, Zeng H, Tasic B, Lein ES, Ting JT, Levi BP

Enhancer viruses for combinatorial cell-subclass-specific labeling

Neuron
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.

A multimodal cell census and atlas of the mammalian primary motor cortex

Nature
October 6, 2021

BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN)

Human neocortical expansion involves glutamatergic neuron diversification

Nature
October 6, 2021

Berg J, Sorensen SA, Ting JT, Miller JA, Chartrand T, Buchin A, Bakken TE, Budzillo A, Dee N, Ding SL, Gouwens NW, Hodge RD, Kalmbach B, Lee C, Lee BR, Alfiler L, Baker K, Barkan E, Beller A, Berry K, Bertagnolli D, Bickley K, Bomben J, Braun T, Brouner K, Casper T, Chong P, Crichton K, Dalley R, de Frates R, Desta T, Lee SD, D'Orazi F, Dotson N, Egdorf T, Enstrom R, Farrell C, Feng D, Fong O, Furdan S, Galakhova AA, Gamlin C, Gary A, Glandon A, Goldy J, Gorham M, Goriounova NA, Gratiy S, Graybuck L, Gu H, Hadley K, Hansen N, Heistek TS, Henry AM, Heyer DB, Hill D, Hill C, Hupp M, Jarsky T, Kebede S, Keene L, Kim L, Kim MH, Kroll M, Latimer C, Levi BP, Link KE, Mallory M, Mann R, Marshall D, Maxwell M, McGraw M, McMillen D, Melief E, Mertens EJ, Mezei L, Mihut N, Mok S, Molnar G, Mukora A, Ng L, Ngo K, Nicovich PR, Nyhus J, Olah G, Oldre A, Omstead V, Ozsvar A, Park D, Peng H, Pham T, Pom CA, Potekhina L, Rajanbabu R, Ransford S, Reid D, Rimorin C, Ruiz A, Sandman D, Sulc J, Sunkin SM, Szafer A, Szemenyei V, Thomsen ER, Tieu M, Torkelson A, Trinh J, Tung H, Wakeman W, Waleboer F, Ward K, Wilbers R, Williams G, Yao Z, Yoon JG, Anastassiou C, Arkhipov A, Barzo P, Bernard A, Cobbs C, de Witt Hamer PC, Ellenbogen RG, Esposito L, Ferreira M, Gwinn RP, Hawrylycz MJ, Hof PR, Idema S, Jones AR, Keene CD, Ko AL, Murphy GJ, Ng L, Ojemann JG, Patel AP, Phillips JW, Silbergeld DL, Smith K, Tasic B, Yuste R, Segev I, de Kock CPJ, Mansvelder HD, Tamas G, Zeng H, Koch C, Lein ES

Morphological diversity of single neurons in molecularly defined cell types

Nature
October 6, 2021

Peng H, Xie P, Liu L, Kuang X, Wang Y, Qu L, Gong H, Jiang S, Li A, Ruan Z, Ding L, Yao Z, Chen C, Chen M, Daigle TL, Dalley R, Ding Z, Duan Y, Feiner A, He P, Hill C, Hirokawa KE, Hong G, Huang L, Kebede S, Kuo HC, Larsen R, Lesnar P, Li L, Li Q, Li X, Li Y, Li Y, Liu A, Lu D, Mok S, Ng L, Nguyen TN, Ouyang Q, Pan J, Shen E, Song Y, Sunkin SM, Tasic B, Veldman MB, Wakeman W, Wan W, Wang P, Wang Q, Wang T, Wang Y, Xiong F, Xiong W, Xu W, Ye M, Yin L, Yu Y, Yuan J, Yuan J, Yun Z, Zeng S, Zhang S, Zhao S, Zhao Z, Zhou Z, Huang ZJ, Esposito L, Hawrylycz MJ, Sorensen SA, Yang XW, Zheng Y, Gu Z, Xie W, Koch C, Luo Q, Harris JA, Wang Y, Zeng H

An evolutionary driver of interspersed segmental duplications in primates

Genome Biology
August 10, 2020

Cantsilieris S, Sunkin SM, Johnson ME, Anaclerio F, Huddleston J, Baker C, Dougherty ML, Underwood JG, Sulovari A, Hsieh P, Mao Y, Catacchio CR, Malig M, Welch AE, Sorensen M, Munson KM, Jiang W, Girirajan S, Ventura M, Lamb BT, Conlon RA, Eichler EE

The Allen Mouse Brain Common Coordinate Framework: A 3D Reference Atlas

Cell
May 14, 2020

Wang Q, Ding SL, Li Y, Royall J, Feng D, Lesnar P, Graddis N, Naeemi M, Facer B, Ho A, Dolbeare T, Blanchard B, Dee N, Wakeman W, Hirokawa KE, Szafer A, Sunkin SM, Oh SW, Bernard A, Phillips JW, Hawrylycz M, Koch C, Zeng H, Harris JA, Ng L

Integrated Morphoelectric and Transcriptomic Classification of Cortical GABAergic Cells

Cell
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

Conserved cell types with divergent features in human versus mouse cortex

Nature
August 21, 2019

Hodge RD, Bakken TE, Miller JA, Smith KA, Barkan ER, Graybuck LT, Close JL, Long B, Johansen N, Penn O, Yao Z, Eggermont J, Höllt T, Levi BP, Shehata SI, Aevermann B, Beller A, Bertagnolli D, Brouner K, Casper T, Cobbs C, Dalley R, Dee N, Ding SL, Ellenbogen RG, Fong O, Garren E, Goldy J, Gwinn RP, Hirschstein D, Keene CD, Keshk M, Ko AL, Lathia K, Mahfouz A, Maltzer Z, McGraw M, Nguyen TN, Nyhus J, Ojemann JG, Oldre A, Parry S, Reynolds S, Rimorin C, Shapovalova NV, Somasundaram S, Szafer A, Thomsen ER, Tieu M, Quon G, Scheuermann RH, Yuste R, Sunkin SM, Lelieveldt B, Feng D, Ng L, Bernard A, Hawrylycz M, Phillips JW, Tasic B, Zeng H, Jones AR, Koch C, Lein ES

Classification of electrophysiological and morphological neuron types in mouse visual cortex

Nature Neuroscience
June 17, 2019

Gouwens NW, Sorensen SA, Berg J, Lee C, Jarsky T, Ting J, Sunkin S, Feng D, Anastassiou C, Barkan E, Bickley K, Blesie N, Braun T, Brouner K, Budzillo A, Caldejon S, Casper T, Castelli D, Chong P, Crichton K, Cuhaciyan C, Daigle T, Dalley R, Dee N, Desta T, Dingman S, Doperalski A, Dotson N, Egdorf T, Fisher M, de Frates RA, Garren E, Garwood M, Gary A, Gaudreault N, Godfrey K, Gorham M, Gu H, Habel C, Hadley K, Harrington J, Harris J, Henry A, Hill D, Josephsen S, Kebede S, Kim L, Kroll M, Lee B, Lemon T, Liu X, Long B, Mann R, McGraw M, Mihalas S, Mukora A, Murphy GJ, Ng L, Ngo K, Nguyen TN, Nicovich PR, Oldre A, Park D, Parry S, Perkins J, Potekhina L, Reid D, Robertson M, Sandman D, Schroedter M, Slaughterbeck C, Soler-Llavina C, Sulc J, Szafer A, Tasic B, Taskin N, Teeter C, Thatra N, Tung H, Wakeman W, Williams G, Young R, Zhou Z, Farrell C, Peng H, Hawrylycz MJ, Lein E, Ng L, Arkhipov A, Bernard A, Phillips J, Zeng H, Koch C

Epigenetic landscape and AAV targeting of human neocortical cell classes

bioRxiv
February 19, 2019

Mich JK, Hess EE, Graybuck LT, Somasundaram S, Miller JA, Ding Y, Shapovalova NV, Fong O, Yao S, Mortrud M, Chong P, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Casper T, Kroll M, Hodge RD, Bakken TE, Yao Z, Dee N, Cetin A, Smith KA, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Gradinaru V, Sunkin SM, Zeng H, Lein ES, Tasic B, Ting JT, Levi BP

Transcriptomic and morphophysiological evidence for a specialized human cortical GABAergic cell type

Nature Neuroscience
August 27, 2018

Boldog E, Bakken TE, Hodge RD, Novotny M, Aevermann BD, Baka J, Bordé S, Jennie L. Close, Diez-Fuertes F, Ding SL, Faragó N, Kocsis AK, Kovács B, Maltzer Z, McCorrison JM, Miller JA, Molnár G, Oláh G, Ozsvár A, Rózsa M, Shehata SI, Smith KA, Sunkin SM, Tran DN, Venepally P, Wall A, Puskás LG, Barzó P, Steemers FJ, Schork NJ, Scheuermann RH, Lasken RS, Lein ES, Tamás G

A Suite of Transgenic Driver and Reporter Mouse Lines with Enhanced Brain-Cell-Type Targeting and Functionality

Cell
July 12, 2018

Daigle TL, Madisen L, Hage TA, Valley MT, Knoblich U, Larsen RS, Takeno MM, Huang L, Gu H, Larsen R, Mills M, Bosma-Moody A, Siverts LA, Walker M, Graybuck LT, Yao Z, Fong O, Nguyen TN, Garren E, Lenz GH, Chavarha M, Pendergraft J, Harrington J, Hirokawa KE, Harris JA, Nicovich PR, McGraw MJ, Ollerenshaw DR, Smith KA, Baker CA, Ting JT, Sunkin SM, Lecoq J, Lin MZ2, Boyden ES, Murphy GJ, da Costa NM, Waters J, Li L, Tasic B, Zeng H

Shared and distinct transcriptomic cell types across neocortical areas

Nature
October 31, 2018

Tasic B, Yao Z, Graybuck LT, Smith KA, Nguyen TN, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Garren E, Economo MN, Viswanathan S, Penn O, Bakken T, Menon V, Miller J, Fong O, Hirokawa KE, Lathia K, Rimorin C, Tieu M, Larsen R, Casper T, Barkan E, Kroll M, Parry S, Shapovalova NV, Hirschstein D, Pendergraft J, Sullivan HA, Kim TK, Szafer A, Dee N, Groblewski P, Wickersham I, Cetin A, Harris JA, Levi BP, Sunkin SM, Madisen L, Daigle TL, Looger L, Bernard A, Phillips J, Lein E, Hawrylycz M, Svoboda K, Jones AR, Koch C, Zeng H

Spatiotemporal dynamics of the postnatal developing primate brain transcriptome

Human Molecular Genetics
May 7, 2015

Bakken TE, Miller JA, Luo R, Bernard A, Bennett JL, Lee CK, Bertagnolli D, Parikshak NN, Smith KA, Sunkin SM, Amaral DG, Geschwind DH, Lein ES

Transgenic mice for intersectional targeting of neural sensors and effectors with high specificity and performance

Neuron
March 4, 2015

Madisen L, Garner AR, Shimaoka D, Chuong AS, Klapoetke NC, Li L, van der Bourg A, Niino Y, Egolf L, Monetti C, Gu H, Mills M, Cheng A, Tasic B, Nguyen TN, Sunkin SM, Benucci A, Nagy A, Miyawaki A, Helmchen F, Empson RM, Knöpfel T, Boyden ES, Reid RC, Carandini M, Zeng H

Transcriptional landscape of the prenatal human brain

Nature
April 2, 2014

Miller JA, Ding SL, Sunkin SM, Smith KA, Ng L, Szafer A, Ebbert A, Riley ZL, Royall JJ, Aiona K, Arnold JM, Bennet C, Bertagnolli D, Brouner K, Butler S, Caldejon S, Carey A, Cuhaciyan C, Dalley RA, Dee N, Dolbeare TA, Facer BA, Feng D, Fliss TP, Gee G, Goldy J, Gourley L, Gregor BW, Gu G, Howard RE, Jochim JM, Kuan CL, Lau C, Lee CK, Lee F, Lemon TA, Lesnar P, McMurray B, Mastan N, Mosqueda N, Naluai-Cecchini T, Ngo NK, Nyhus J, Oldre A, Olson E, Parente J, Parker PD, Parry SE, Stevens A, Pletikos M, Reding M, Roll K, Sandman D, Sarreal M, Shapouri S, Shapovalova NV, Shen EH, Sjoquist N, Slau

Large-scale cellular-resolution gene profiling in human neocortex reveals species-specific molecular signatures

Cell
April 13, 2012

Zeng H, Shen EH, Hohmann JG, Oh SW, Bernard A, Royall JJ, Glattfelder KJ, Sunkin SM, Morris JA, Guillozet-Bongaarts AL, Smith KA, Ebbert AJ, Swanson B, Kuan L, Page DT, Overly CC, Lein ES, Hawrylycz MJ, Hof PR, Hyde TM, Kleinman JE, Jones AR

An anatomically comprehensive atlas of the adult human brain transcriptome

Nature
December 2012

Hawrylycz MJ, Lein ES, Guillozet-Bongaarts AL, Shen EH, Ng L, Miller JA, van de Lagemaat LN, Smith KA, Ebbert A, Riley ZL, Abajian C, Beckmann CF, Bernard A, Bertagnolli D, Boe AF, Cartagena PM, Chakravarty MM, Chapin M, Chong J, Dalley RA, David Daly B, Dang C, Datta S, Dee N, Dolbeare TA, Faber V, Feng D, Fowler DR, Goldy J, Gregor BW, Haradon Z, Haynor DR, Hohmann JG, Horvath S, Howard RE, Jeromin A, Jochim JM, Kinnunen M, Lau C, Lazarz ET, Lee C, Lemon TA, Li L, Li Y, Morris JA, Overly CC, Parker PD, Parry SE, Reding M, Royall JJ, Schulkin J, Sequeira PA, Slaughterbeck CR, Smith SC, Sodt AJ, Sunkin SM, Swanson BE, Vawter MP, Williams D, Wohnoutka P, Zielke HR, Geschwind DH, Hof PR, Smith SM, Koch C, Grant SGN, Jones AR.

Allen Brain Atlas: an integrated spatiotemporal portal for exploring the central nervous system

Nucleic Acids Research
November 28, 2012

Sunkin SM, Ng L, Lau C, Dolbeare T, Gilbert TL, Thompson CL, Hawrylycz M, Dang C