Lab members

Lab members2018-08-01T20:32:50+00:00
György Buzsáki, MD, PhD
György Buzsáki, MD, PhDPrincipal Investigator, Biggs Professor of Neuroscience

Prof. György Buzsáki has published more than 300 papers and is among the top 1% most-cited neuroscientists. Prof. Buzsáki is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Academia Europaea, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and foreign member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He sits on the editorial boards of several leading neuroscience journals.

Read more about György

Antal Berényi, MD, PhD
Antal Berényi, MD, PhD Research Assistant Professor
John Long, PhD
John Long, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

I am a neuroscientist and technologist. My work in neuroscience investigates how biological systems transform information about the external world into action policies that maximize reinforcement. I take cognition to be a byproduct of this dynamic. My recent work falls along 2 lines: system identification and design. I use 3D reconstruction techniques to quantify and analyze behavior as it relates to neural processes during learning. I also combine various camera sensors with gpgpus to enable designed systems to map environments, recognize objects, and make inferences in real-time. I’m interested in inter-disciplinary collaborations between neuroscience, medicine, robotics, computer science and mathematics.

Sam McKenzie, PhD
Sam McKenzie, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow
Peter C. Petersen, PhD
Peter C. Petersen, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

I am an electrophysiologist and I am interested in neuronal networks dynamics. My current research is focused on perturbation of theta oscillations in behaving rats and its effect on spatial navigation.  I have a Master of Science in Engineering Physics and did my PhD at University of Copenhagen, in the lab of Rune Berg.  In my PhD I did combined high density silicon probes together with intracellular- and electroneurogram recordings from the turtle spinal cord to address the network architecture behind motor pattern generation.

Visit my website to see my publications and CV.

Viktor Varga, PhD
Viktor Varga, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

How do we filter out irrelevant information while storing those that are important for our survival? How is the collection of stimuli that bombard us every moment converted into life-changing experiences? And what happens in our brain when our mood swings from happiness to despair and back or our actions are entrapped by seemingly endless repetitions? All of these questions are connected to subcortical modulation, the activity of relatively small groups of brain cells with powerful influence on behavior. I aim to dive deep into the intricately complex world of subcortical modulators in order to answer the questions (and others) raised above. I record the activity of neurons simultaneously with the behavior of the animal in response to manipulations of subcortical modulatory neurons. I had done my PhD in Budapest under the supervision of Bernat Kocsis and then moved to Tamas Freund’s group. Currently, I am a Marie-Curie fellow in the Buzsaki lab. When not in the lab I try to spend as much time as possible with my wife and two kids.

Antonio Fernández-Ruiz, PhD
Antonio Fernández-Ruiz, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

I am working in neural oscillations and population coding mechanisms in behaving rodents. I use a range of experimental and computational methods to study hippocampal and cortical circuit dynamics underlying learning and memory.

My long term goals are:

  • Finding general principles of information processing in cortical circuits
  • Understanding the cellular mechanisms of memory guided decision making
  • Developing a comprehensive approach to study neural circuit function

Visit my website for more information

Azahara Oliva González, PhD
Azahara Oliva González, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Azahara is a postdoctoral fellow in the Buzsaki Laboratory and Steven Siegelbaum Laboratory. She studied fundamental physics in Spain, where she approached to neuroscience from a computational perspective during her undergraduate. She decided to get closer to experiments by inserting more and more electrodes in the brain of freely moving animals. After having recorded more than 300 hippocampal cells simultaneously and monitored in parallel several regions during her PhD, she still doesn’t understand how anything works in the brain. She is particularly interested in the disregarded matters, like independent music and the CA2 region of the hippocampus.

Omid Yaghmazadeh, PhD
Omid Yaghmazadeh, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

I joined the Buzsaki lab with a background in Electrical Engineering and Electronic Devices. I received my PhD in Organic Electronics from Ecole Polytechnique, France. My current research interest and focus is on the interactions of external electromagnetic fields with the brain.

 Manuel Valero, PhD
Manuel Valero, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

I am neurophysiologist and I am interested in the generation of oscillations, with special emphasis on their cellular substrate, synaptic rules, and cognitive outcomes. During my PhD in Menéndez de la Prida lab I combined silicon probes together with single-cell recordings in vivo to unveil the columnar organization of the CA1 circuitry during hippocampal sharp-wave ripples, as well as to disclose the mechanisms for the cell-selective firing during SPW-Rs.

Visit my website to see my publications and CV.

András Attila Horváth, MD, PhD
András Attila Horváth, MD, PhDVisiting Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a medical doctor being interested in the neural background of cognitive decline. I participate as a postdoc fellow in the National Brain Research Program Hungary and work as a teacher at Semmelweis University Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology. My current research is focused on the identification of neurophysiological and sleep biomarkers for the early detection of dementia. I have a Master of Science in medicine and did my PhD at the Semmelweis University, János Szentágothai Doctor School of Neurosciences. In my PhD, I examined patients with Alzheimer’s-disease using long-term ambulatory electroencephalograpy and demonstrated high prevalence of epileptic activity, furthermore, strong association between cognitive deterioration and epilepsy. When not in the lab, I travel, read and play basketball.

Visit my website to see my publications and resume.

 Yiyao Zhang, PhD
Yiyao Zhang, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

When I entered science world, I was strongly impressed by the mysterious neural universal. The deeper I know about it, the more I can’t get out of this world. In my opinion, the whole neural world is very similar with human society, but much more stable than us. I believe there is a universal rule to run the whole neural world and supervise every neuron, which is the characteristic brain spread EEG-oscillation during distinctive animal behavior. However, what group of neurons makes rules? How the rules dominate other neurons and how these separated regions communicate with these rules? The most details of these questions remain unknown. I am here to try to answer these questions.

Anna Conti
Anna ContiLab Manager
David Tingley
David TingleyGraduate Student
Dan Levenstein
Dan LevensteinGraduate Student
Rachel Swanson
Rachel SwansonGraduate Student
Stephanie Rogers
Stephanie RogersGraduate Student
Kathryn Mcclain
Kathryn McclainGraduate Student

Kathryn attended college at UC Berkeley, studying math and physics. Now, during her PhD she works on developing quantitative models of information coding in the hippocampus. She is interested in how information is combined to formulate memories and enable learning.

Brooke Holey
Brooke HoleyRotation student

With a Neurobiology B.A. from UC Berkeley and 2 years of tech experience at UCSF, I am new to the hippocampal field. In general, I am interested in the hippocampus as a sequence generator and how these sequences are read out by downstream regions. I am currently studying the contribution of space to the properties of episode cells, and how this information is transformed in the lateral septum.

Roman Huszar
Roman HuszarRotation student

Short term plasticity affects the types of signals that can propagate through the synapse. For this reason, the preponderance of one subtype of short term plasticity (e.g., facilitation) is likely to constrain the neural dynamics that can emerge (e.g., LFP, cell sequences). I am currently working with existing lab data sets in order to map the short term plasticity dynamics across different states and brain regions. The long-term goal of the project is to increase our understanding of how short term plasticity affects emergent neural dynamics and, ultimately, neural computations.

Sinan Köküuslu
Sinan KöküusluUndergraduate student

I am an undergraduate student pursuing bachelor’s degrees in neuroscience and math at New York University. I am interested in neuronal network dynamics with a focus on the mechanisms of information storage and propagation. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sam McKenzie, I combine optogenetics with extracellular recordings in behaving mice to (1) support Dr. McKenzie’s research on the synaptic basis of hippocampal replay events and (2) carry out my bachelor’s thesis project on activity-dependent plasticity.

Michelle Hernandez
Michelle HernandezUndergraduate student

I am an undergraduate at New York University pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience and Religious Studies. I am working with Peter studying the effects of theta oscillations on spatial navigation in the hippocampus of rats.

Lab members, 2018