pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_Larry_Abbott Larry Abbott is a senior fellow at the Janelia Research Campus. Abbott uses computational modeling and mathematical analysis to study neurons and neural networks. His work draws on analytical techniques and computer simulation to explore how single neurons respond to synaptic inputs, how neurons interact in neural circuits, and how large networks of neurons represent, store and process information. Prior to his work in theoretical neuroscience, Abbott worked as an electrical engineer and then a theoretical particle physicist. He studied physics at Oberlin College, and has a PhD in physics from Brandeis University with postdoctoral work at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and at CERN. At Janelia, Abbott continues his theoretical studies including work on hippocampal place cells.
DSC_4895 Carol Becker is Dean of Faculty and Professor of the Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts. She was previously Dean of Faculty and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs as well as Professor of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, the education of artists, art and social responsibility, to South African art and politics, she has published numerous articles and books on cultural criticism including: The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change(translated into seven languages); The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society and Social Responsibility; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender, and Anxiety; Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art and Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production. She earned her B.A. in English literature from State University of New York at Buffalo and her PhD in English and American literature from the University of California, San Diego.
Alessandra Casella is professor of Economics at Columbia University and a fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge), and the Center for Economic Policy Research (London). She received her PhD in Economics from MIT in 1989, taught at UC Berkeley before moving to Columbia in 1993, and held the position of Directeur d’ Etudes (temps partiel) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Sciences Sociales (EHESS) (Paris and Marseilles) from 1996 to 2010. Her main research interests are political economy, public economics, and international economics. Casella has been the recipient of numerous fellowships: she has been a Straus fellow at the NYU Law School, a Guggenheim fellow, a member of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, and a Russell Sage fellow. Her book Storable Votes. Protecting the Minority Voice was published by Oxford University Press in 2012.
Mark Dean is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Columbia. He received his PhD in Economics from New York University, where he was lucky enough to be advised by neuroscientists as well as economists. Subsequently, Mark has worked largely in the field of behavioral economics, using tools from decision theory and experimental economics to devise and conduct robust tests of behavioral economic models. His most recent work is in the area of ‘rational inattention’, which aims to understand how people allocate scarce cognitive resources when making economic choices. At Columbia, Mark is a member of the Cognition and Decision Lab (with Mike Woodford and Hassan Afrouzi), and is the associate director of the Columbia Experimental Laboratory in the Social Sciences.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_geraldine_downey Geraldine Downey of the Psychology department has a primary interest is the study of personal and status based rejection. In her current work, she is exploring people’s expectations of rejection and their impact on the perception of other people’s behavior, in anticipation of and following social encounters. Her work has focused on the personality disposition of rejection sensitivity (RS) and on its association with responses to rejection as well as efforts made to prevent it. This line of work has led her to study sensitivity to rejection based on personal, unique characteristics, as well as sensitivity to rejection based on group characteristics such as race and gender. She has sought to investigate the effect of rejection sensitivity on people’s behavior by utilizing various techniques including established social cognition paradigms, experimental studies, physiological recordings, brain-imaging and diary studies. Recently, Dr. Downey has been using the knowledge acquired from her research on rejection to develop models of personality and attachment disorders. She has also been interested in the study of identity, specifically on the way in which individuals use their multiple social identities strategically to cope with daily stressors.
Stuart Firestein, image, PSSN Stuart Firestein is the former Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences where his laboratory studies the vertebrate olfactory system, possibly the best chemical detector on the face of the planet. Aside from its molecular detection capabilities, the olfactory system serves as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of signaling and perception in the brain. His laboratory seeks to answer that fundamental human question: How do I smell?
Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience, Firestein serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science.  Recently he was awarded the 2011 Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship and teaching. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, an Alfred Sloan Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. At Columbia, he is on the Advisory boards of the Center for Science and Society (CSS) and the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience –both centers for interdisciplinary work between the sciences and the humanities. His book on the workings of science for a general audience called Ignorance, How it Drives Science was released by Oxford University Press in 2012. His new book, Failure: Why Science is So Successful, appeared in October 2015. They have been translated into 10 languages.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_Andrew_Gerber Andrew Gerber is an assistant professor in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia and a graduate of the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He completed a PhD in psychology at the Anna Freud Centre and University College London where he studied with Peter Fonagy and Joseph Sandler, investigating the process and outcome of psychotherapy in young adults. He did his medical and psychiatric training at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Hospital, and Weill Cornell Medical College – Payne Whitney Clinic. He trained as a research fellow with Bradley Peterson at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in brain imaging and child psychiatry
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_mark_hansen Mark Hansen joined Columbia Journalism School in July of 2012. He has held appointments in the Department of Statistics, the Department of Design Media Arts and the Department of Electrical Engineering at UCLA and was a Co-PI for the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing. Hansen works with data in an essentially journalistic practice, crafting stories through algorithm, computation and visualization. In addition to his technical work, Hansen also has an active art practice involving the presentation of data for the public. His work with Ben Rubin at EAR Studio has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, the London Science Museum, the Cartier Foundation in Paris, and the lobby of the New York Times building (permanent display) in Manhattan. Hansen holds a PhD and MA in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Applied Math from the University of California, Davis.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_rebecca_jordan_young Rebecca Jordan-Young is a sociomedical scientist whose research includes social epidemiology studies of HIV/AIDS, and evaluation of biological work on sex, gender and sexuality. Prior to joining the faculty at Barnard College, she was a Principal Investigator and Deputy Director of the Social Theory Core at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research of the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., and has been a Health Disparities Scholar sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. She teaches courses in science and technology studies, sexuality, gender theory, and HIV/AIDS. In the spring of 2008, Professor Young was a Visiting Scholar at the Cognitive Neuroscience Sector, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste, Italy, and a featured speaker in the FEST Trieste International Science Media Fair.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_darcy_kelley Darcy Kelley is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. Her A.B. degree is from Barnard College and her Ph.D. is from The Rockefeller University, where she was also a postdoctoral fellow. She codirected the Neural Systems and Behavior course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and founded Columbia’s doctoral program in neurobiology and behavior. She is editor of the journal “Developmental Neurobiology.” Her research uses the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, to study the neurobiology of social communication, with the goal of determining how one brain communicates with another. Her HHMI project is a Web-based resource that will make educational materials generated in Frontiers of Science (Columbia’s new interdisciplinary core course in science) freely available and will provide a platform for college science teachers to share their own teaching approaches and materials and to consult with their colleagues about educational issues.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_jeremy_kessler Jeremy K. Kessler is Associate Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a legal historian whose scholarship focuses on First Amendment law, administrative law, and constitutional law. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty in 2015, Kessler clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. He previously served as the David Berg Foundation Fellow at the Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization at New York University, as a graduate fellow at Cardozo School of Law, and as the Harry Middleton Fellow in Presidential Studies at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. Kessler received his J.D. from Yale Law School where he was a Legal History Fellow and the executive editor of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. He earned an M.Phil. in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and a B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale College.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_philip_kitcher Philip Kitcher is John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, and author, most recently, of The Ethical Project (Harvard University Press, 2011; Science in a Democratic Society, Prometheus Books, 2011); Preludes to Pragmatism (Oxford University Press, 2012); Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction (with Gillian Barker, Oxford University Press, 2013); Deaths in Venice: The Cases of Gustav von Aschenbach (Columbia University Press, 2013). After working on the philosophy of mathematics early in his career, he began to write on issues in the philosophy of biology and in general philosophy of science. He is currently interested in the ethical and political constraints on scientific research, the evolution of altruism and morality, and the apparent conflict between science and religion. He continues, however, to write on some of the topics treated in earlier publications
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_george_lewis George Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. He has been the recipient of a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship, a 1999 Alpert Award in the Arts, a 2011 United States Artists Walker Fellowship, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis’s work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, text-sound works, and notated and improvisational forms is documented on more than 140 recordings. Lewis has been honored with the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his widely acclaimed book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, is a recipient of the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_jennifer_manly Jennifer Manly is an Associate Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology at the G.H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. She is a neuropsychologist examining lifecourse cultural and educational influences on cognitive aging trajectories and dementia among racially and culturally diverse populations.  Her PhD is from the San Diego State University/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She completed a clinical internship at Brown University and a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. She serves on the US Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services, and is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Research Board.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_malia_mason Malia Mason, Gantcher Associate Professor of Business Management, studies how competing motives shape people’s judgments, choices, and behaviors, and the implications for interpersonal interaction and work performance more generally. She teaches the Managerial Negotiations course (B7510) in the MBA and EMBA programs at Columbia Business School, and Leadership in Organizations (W3703) to undergraduates at Columbia College. She occasionally teaches the Research Methods (B9708) course in the PhD program at Columbia Business School. Prior to joining the Columbia University faculty in 2007 as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Mason worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow in Moshe Bar’s lab at the Martinos Brain Imaging Center at Harvard University Medical School. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Dartmouth College in 2005 under the tutelage of C. Neil Macrae. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Rice University in 2000. Before pursuing a PhD, she worked as a consultant.
Kevin Ochsner, image, PSSN Kevin Ochsner Kevin Ochsner directs the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Lab at Columbia University, which studies the brain bases of studies emotion, self-control, and person perception. Kevin received a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard and postdoctoral training at Stanford. He is a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Columbia University’s Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award, and the APA New Investigator Award. His research has been funded by grants from private and public institutions, including five different NIH Institutes. Kevin also helped found the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society (SANS), and is a past president of the Society for Affective Science.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_valerie_purdie-vaughns Valerie Purdie-Greenaway is the Director of the Laboratory of Intergroup Relations and the Social Mind (LIRSM). She is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University, core faculty for the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program (RWJ Columbia-site), and research fellow at the Institute for Research on African-American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia. She has been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Russell Sage Foundation, Spencer Foundation and William T. Grant Foundation. In 2013, Dr. Purdie-Greenaway was awarded the Columbia University RISE (Research Initiative in Science and Engineering) award for most innovative and cutting edge research proposal titled, “Cells to Society” approach to reducing racial achievement gaps: Neuro-physiologic pathways involved in stereotype threat and social psychological interventions. Previously, Dr. Purdie-Greenaway served on the faculty in the Psychology Department at Yale University. She completed her doctoral work in psychology at Stanford University and her undergraduate work at Columbia University, where she lettered in varsity basketball.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_david_rosner David Rosner, PhD, MPH, Ronald H. Lauterstein Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Professor of History, and co-Director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, focuses on research at the intersection of public health and social history and the politics of occupational disease and industrial pollution. He has been actively involved in lawsuits on behalf of cities, states and communities around the nation who are trying to hold the lead industry accountable for past acts that have resulted in tremendous damage to America’s children. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty in 1998, Dr. Rosner was University Distinguished Professor of History at the City University of New York. In 2010, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. In addition to numerous grants, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow and a Josiah Macy Fellow.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_paul_sajda Paul Sajda’s approach to his research is fundamentally grounded in Neural Engineering, utilizing large-scale computational modeling and advanced neuroimaging to infer circuitry and circuit properties of visual cortex. Neural engineering is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that uses engineering techniques to investigate the function of and manipulate the behavior of the central or peripheral nervous system. His research has led to the development of several innovative systems under what can be termed applied neuroscience, e.g. brain computer interfaces for image search and computer-assisted detection systems for medical image analysis. His philosophy, “build it, measure it, test it, understand it,” is partly fostered by his six years of industrial R&D experience at the Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, NJ.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_michael_shadlen Michael Shadlen studies neurons in the association cortex that transform information from the sensory cortex to give rise to interpretations, decisions, and plans for behavior. His experiments combine electrophysiology and behavioral and computational methods to advance our knowledge of higher brain function. Dr. Shadlen’s research on decision making exposes the neural mechanisms that support a wide range of cognitive functions of normal brains—what it is about a normal brain that makes us “not confused.” As a practicing neurologist, Dr. Shadlen believes that by elucidating the principles of cognitive neuroscience employed in decision-making, we will ultimately help patients with disorders affecting a wide range of higher cognitive functions affecting personality, ideation, volition, and awareness.
Kathryn Tabb - Image Kathryn Tabb is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She received her M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge and her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, both in History and Philosophy of Science, and has an M.A. in Biomedical Ethics and Health Law from the University of Pittsburgh. She works in early modern philosophy (especially philosophy of mind and medicine) as well as in contemporary philosophy of medicine (especially psychiatry). She serves on the steering committees for the Columbia Precision Medicine & Society Initiative and the Center for Research on Ethical, Legal & Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Sciences. Along with Paul Appelbaum, she is principal investigator on a three-year project investigating intuitions about genetics and virtuous behavior.
Nim Tottenham, image, PSSN Nim Tottenham, PhD is an associate professor of Psychology at Columbia University and director of the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research examines brain development underlying emotional behavior in humans. Her research has highlighted fundamental changes in brain circuitry across development and the powerful role that early experiences, such as caregiving and stress, have on the construction of these circuits.
Michael Woodford is the John Bates Clark Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University. His first academic appointment was at Columbia in 1984, after which he held positions at the University of Chicago and Princeton University, before returning to Columbia in 2004. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago, his J.D. from Yale Law School, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a MacArthur Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Mass.), and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London). Woodford’s primary research interests are in macroeconomic theory and monetary policy.
pssn_presidential_scholars_society_neuroscience_sarah_woolley Sarah Woolley is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology. She is Director of the Communication Neuroscience Laboratory, a member of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science and a member of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Institute for Mind Brain and Behavior. She moved to Columbia from the University of California at Berkeley in 2006. She is a neuroscientist working on neural and behavioral mechanisms of vocal learning and communication. Her studies use electrophysiological recordings of single neurons and neuronal populations in the auditory system, computational modeling and quantitative analyses of vocal behavior and auditory perception in songbirds. Because songbirds have the extremely rare ability to learn communication vocalizations from adult tutors during development, they serve as the animal model for understanding how the brain uses social experience of vocal sounds to achieve communication among individuals in a social group.


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