A magna cum laude and Goldwater scholar from Brown University, William Allen researches how the brain’s neural circuits produce natural and pathological behaviors. His goal is to develop new physical, biological, and computational tools to help understand how the brain works in health and in disease. The results could promote more specific treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
As an undergraduate, Will’s research spanned synthetic biology, neuroscience, and machine learning. His thesis used computational analysis to study gene regulation during neural development. A Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge, he completed his master’s research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
“I want to make serious progress answering questions about human psychology and animal behaviors that have been discussed fruitlessly since antiquity. The Hertz Fellowship will allow me to work across the traditional boundaries between academic disciplines, and to combine approaches from biology, physics, and computer science to build tools for understanding the brain.”