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Allen Institute for Brain Science Announces 2016 Next Generation Leaders

Distinguished early-career scientists invited to participate in Allen Institute advisory council

November 8, 2016 | Download PDF

The Allen Institute for Brain Science announces the newest cohort of Next Generation Leaders: a group of six esteemed young scientists who will provide feedback in both formal and informal settings to researchers at the Allen Institute. The program recognizes distinguished and innovative contributions from early-career scientific leaders, nurtures professional growth and provides informal training on serving as a scientific advisor.

“The Next Generation Leaders program at the Allen Institute has been a valuable addition to our advisory councils, and we hope that the scientists in the program gain as much from their involvement and input as we do,” says Christof Koch, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “We are looking forward to what this new group of young, talented scientists will bring to the table, and to providing guidance for their own career development in return.”

“This class of Next Generation Leaders has a very strong background in computational neuroscience and modeling,” says Erica Sessle, Chief of Staff at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “We eagerly anticipate hearing their valuable insights and feedback on the work happening here at the Institute.”

Each year through a competitive application process, the Allen Institute selects six new Next Generation Leaders to the council from institutions around the globe. Now in its third year, the council has reached its full 18 members. The inaugural cohort of Next Generation Leaders, selected in 2014, will retire from the council in the fall of 2017.

The Next Generation Leaders council will convene after this year’s Showcase symposium at the Allen Institute in Seattle, December 13-14, 2016. New council members will present their work during Showcase and meet with Allen Institute researchers. Additional responsibilities of the Next Generation Leaders include attending a primary advisory council meeting at the Allen Institute once per year, to provide feedback on Institute research projects. This feedback helps the Allen Institute plan and adopt the best methods for meeting its scientific goals.

The newly appointed Next Generation Leaders Advisory Council members are:

  • Mark Harnett, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Alexander Huth, Ph.D., Postdoctoral scholar, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Jens Kremkow, Ph.D., Postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

  • Simona Lodato, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University

  • Richard Naud, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Technische Universität Berlin
  • Benjamin Scott, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University

About the Allen Institute for Brain Science

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is a division of the Allen Institute (, an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to accelerating the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease. Using a big science approach, the Allen Institute generates useful public resources used by researchers and organizations around the globe, drives technological and analytical advances, and discovers fundamental brain properties through integration of experiments, modeling and theory. Launched in 2003 with a seed contribution from founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, the Allen Institute is supported by a diversity of government, foundation and private funds to enable its projects. Given the Institute’s achievements, Mr. Allen committed an additional $300 million in 2012 for the first four years of a ten-year plan to further propel and expand the Institute’s scientific programs, bringing his total commitment to date to $500 million. The Allen Institute’s data and tools are publicly available online at