Edward Boyden

Hertz Fellow: Edward Boyden

Stanford University

Area of Study

Electrical Engineering

Fellowship Years

1999 - 2004

Ed Boyden is an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences, at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology group, which develops tools for analyzing and engineering the circuits of the brain, and uses these neurotechnologies to understand how cognition and emotion arise from brain network operation, as well as to enable systematic repair of intractable brain disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. These technologies, created often in interdisciplinary collaborations, include 'optogenetic' tools, which enable the activation and silencing of neural circuit elements with light, 3-D microfabricated neural interfaces that enable control and readout of neural activity, and robotic methods for automatically recording intracellular neural activity and performing single-cell analyses in the living brain. He has launched an award-winning series of classes at MIT that teach principles of neuroengineering, starting with basic principles of how to control and observe neural functions, and culminating with strategies for launching companies in the nascent neurotechnology space.

Ed was named to the "Top 35 Innovators Under the Age of 35" by Technology Review, the "Top 20 Brains Under Age 40" by Discover Magazine. In additon, he received the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the Society for Neuroscience Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience, the NSF CAREER Award, the Paul Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, the New York Stem Cell Foundation-Robertson Investigator Award, the Perl/UNC prize, and the IET Harvey Prize. Moreover, other recognitions include having his work featured in 2010 as the "Method of the Year" by the journal Nature Methods, and he has delivered lectures on optogenetics at TED and at the World Economic Forum. Ed received his PhD in neurosciences from Stanford University as a Hertz Fellow, where he discovered that the molecular mechanisms used to store a memory are determined by the content to be learned. Before that, he received three degrees in electrical engineering and physics from MIT. He has contributed to over 250 peer-reviewed papers, current or pending patents, and articles, and has given over 180 invited talks on his work.

Photo: Courtesy of Xue Han 
Personal Sites:
Website: http://edboyden.org/

2006 - Task-Selective Neural Mechanisms of Memory Encoding

Press Releases:

12/12/2017 National Academy of Inventors Announces 2017 Fellows

11/14/2017 International Symposium on Molecular Medicine & Infectious Disease Prize Winners

11/13/2017 Next-Generation Optogenetic Molecules Control Single Neurons

10/27/2017 Four Hertz Fellows Granted Coveted National Institute of Health Director’s High-Risk Research Awards

10/5/2017 Ten researchers from MIT and Broad receive NIH Director’s Awards

10/3/2017 An MIT Professor Wants To Bring Entrepreneurs Into The Lab

6/1/2017 New Electrical Brain Stimulation Technique Shows Promise in Mice

5/29/2017 A New Way to Study the Brain’s Invisible Secrets

5/3/2017 Brain Mapping Tech Inflates Tissue 20x to Reveal Remarkable Detail

3/16/2017 The Entrepreneur with the $100 Million Plan to Link Brains to Computers

2/10/2017 Kalter: MIT Team Using VR in Fight VS. Cancer

3/3/2016 Ed Boyden Won a 3 Million Dollar Prize for Peering into the Brain. Here's How He's Spending it.

12/21/2015 Hertz Fellow Ed Boyden Taking Optogenetics to the Next Level and Wins the $3 Million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

1/23/2015 Ed Boyden, Hertz Fellow, to receive Andrew Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences

11/1/2013 Space Deliveries to Nanotube Transistors to RNA Molecules: Hertz Fellows Make News

9/9/2013 Edward Boyden, Hertz Fellow, Honored at World Economic Forum's New Champions 2013

3/31/2013 Ed Boyden is Mapping the Brain

3/12/2013 Congratulations to Edward S. Boyden III, Named Winner of the Prestigious 2013 Brain Prize

9/13/2012 Jeff Gore and Ed Boyden Recipients of 2012 NIH Awards

4/25/2012 Edward Boyden Awarded Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize

11/20/2008 Ed Boyden is one of 20 Best Brains Under 40

9/18/2007 Professor Ed Boyden receives New Innovator Award