I got training as a physicist studying the statistical mechanics of biopolymers under the supervision of Prof. Oleg Krichevsky, at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. After completing a Ph.D., I decided to switch to a neuroscience field trying to get some understanding of how things work within our black box.
I spent a marvelous 5 years at Janelia Research Campus doing my postdoctoral research. I was lucky to work at this top-notch neuroscience institute. My scientific approach was influenced by seminars and launches with amazing researchers like Karel Svoboda, Eric Betzig, and Syndey Brenner. The following quote is driving my research for the last 10 years:
… I think ignorance in science is very important. If you’re like me and you know too much you can’t try new things. I always work in fields of which I’m totally ignorant.Sydney Brenner
After postdoctoral research, I obtained scientific independence and started to develop approaches to advance our understanding of information processing by the brain. A combination of computational, technological, and experimental approaches lead me to a number of conceptually novel discoveries and set of technological developments.
My laboratory developed a closed-loop odor delivery system that allows switching between odor concentrations on the single sniff scale (Bizer et al. in preparation). This development led to the discovery of neurons that keep the memory of changes in odor concentration providing a signal that may guide navigational decisions (Parabucki et al. 2019).
Two years ago I decided to join a scientifically-based start-up company Brain Electrophysiological Laboratory (BEL) founded by Prof. Don Tucker. The BEL mission is to advance the science of human neural systems through modeling and analysis with artificial neural systems. Here, I am simulating cortical function via neuromorphic modeling and leading the engineering development of noninvasive technologies for 1) sleep improvement and 2) relief from Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
A physicist by education, a scientist at the soul, and engineer at work.
- Williams AH et al. Discovering Precise Temporal Patterns in Large-Scale Neural Recordings through Robust and Interpretable Time Warping 2020 Neuron 105(2):246
- Parabucki A, Bizer A, Morris G, Munoz AE, Bala ADS, Smear M, Shusterman, R. Odor concentration change coding in the olfactory bulb. 2019 eNeuro 6(1).
- Shusterman R, Sirotin YB, Smear M, Ahmadian Y, Rinberg D. Sniff invariant odor coding. 2018 eNeuro 5(6).
- Sirotin YB, Shusterman R, Rinberg D. Neural Coding of Perceived Odor Intensity. 2015 eNeuro 2(6).
- Shusterman R, Smear MC, Koulakov AA, Rinberg D. Precise olfactory responses tile the sniff cycle. 2011 Nature Neuroscience 14, 1039–1044.