The D. H. Chen Professorship – Professor Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University

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Pushing Boundaries of Knowledge of the Human Brain

The human brain remains the most complex and mysterious organ in biology and medicine today and much is still to be understood about what is in charge of our cognition, behavior, thoughts, emotions and senses. The Foundation greatly values the importance of research into the human brain and has set up an Endowed Professorship at Stanford University in 2012.

Professor Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University, a practicing psychiatrist and neuroscientist, was appointed the D. H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is at the forefront of fundamentally advancing science with the paradigm-shifting technologies of optogenetics, a tool allowing scientists to intervene in the functions of the brain in a deliberate and specific manner through the use of light, and CLARITY, a groundbreaking process that renders a brain transparent enabling unprecedented insight into the complex structure. These revolutionary research will advance our understanding of challenging neurological diseases and ultimately translate into meaningful treatment strategies for millions around the world.

  • I am tremendously honored to hold the inaugural D. H. Chen Professorship at Stanford University. The vision of The D. H. Chen Foundation is profoundly appreciated, in supporting over the long term our high-risk and high-reward work that may lead to deeper understanding of the human brain and better treatments for its disorders.

    Professor Karl Deisseroth
    D. H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    Stanford University

Prof. Deisseroth was awarded the prestigious Massry Prize in August 2016 in recognition of his pioneering work in optogenetics in addition to the numerous awards he has received for his seminal role in developing the radical technique, most recently the Breakthrough Prize, the Albany Prize, the Dickson Prize in Medicine and the National Institutes of Health’s Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences.

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