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Many bipolar cells expressing LiGluR co-stained with pkc alpha. Image by Neuroscience PhD Program alum Benji Gaub, Isacoff lab.

Director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

Ehud Isacoff, PhD
Professor of Neurobiology and Molecular and Cell Biology 

ehud isacoff

Spearheading Berkeley’s strategic plan for neuroscience since 2013, Ehud Isacoff — the Evan Rauch Chair in Neuroscience — is the director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and leads the Berkeley Brain Initiative, a university-wide effort to accelerate and transform neuroscience discovery. Isacoff also heads the Berkeley Molecular Imaging Center, the Berkeley-Zeiss Brain Microscopy Innovation Center, and is a co-director of the Weill Neurohub.


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Executive Committee

    • Christopher Chang, PhD (Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology, HHMI Investigator)
    • Yang Dan, PhD (Professor of Neurobiology, HHMI Investigator)
    • Andrew Dillin, PhD (Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development, Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair in Stem Cell Biology, HHMI Investigator)
    • Dan Feldman, PhD (Professor of Neurobiology, Molecular and Cell Biology Department, Division Head of Neurobiology)
    • Jack Gallant, PhD (Professor of Psychology, Co-director of the Brain Imaging Center)
    • William Jagust, MD (Professor of Public Health and Neuroscience)
    • Daniela Kaufer, PhD (Acting Associate Dean and Professor of Integrative Biology, Chair of the HWNI Executive Committee)
    • Chunlei Liu, PhD  (Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Co-director of the Brain Imaging Center)
    • Bruno Olshausen, PhD (Professor of Vision Science and Optometry, Director of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience)
    • Michael Silver, PhD (Professor of Optometry and Vision Science and Neuroscience, Director of the Neuroscience PhD Program, Director of the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics)
    • Frédéric Theunissen, PhD (Professor of Psychology, Co-director of ICBS)
    • Joni Wallis, PhD (Professor of Psychology, Equity Adviser)

Executive Committee Staff

  • Leleña Avila, PhD (Graduate Program Manager)
  • Dave Schonenberg (Neuroscience Manager)
  • Patrick Gutteridge (Senior Director of Development, Berkeley Brain Initiative)
  • Imran Khan, MSc (Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics Executive Director)
  • Barbara Peterson, PhD (Berkeley Neuroscience Executive Director)

Past Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute Directors

  • Carla Shatz, PhD (1997-1999)
  • Corey Goodman, PhD (1999-2001)
  • Robert Knight, MD (2001-2011)
  • John Ngai, PhD (2011-2013)