Tony Zador

Principal Investigator


I have been on the faculty at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1999, serving as Chair from 2008-2018. As a graduate student at Yale, I trained in theoretical neuroscience and neural networks. During this time collaborated with Christof Koch, who was then at Caltech. Along the way I also obtained an MD degree, from Yale. I then did postdoctoral work on synaptic physiology with Chuck Stevens at the Salk Institute.

When I came to CSHL I decided to study sensory processing and decision-making in rodents. At that time no one had yet developed a rodent behavior comparable to the classic two-alternative choice paradigms used to study decision making in nonhuman primates. Therefore, in collaboration with my close (former) colleague Zach Mainen, we set out to develop such a paradigm. This paradigm is now used by many labs to study sensory processing and decision making in rodents, and has emerged as a well-established alternative to traditional primate studies.

Around 2010 I embarked upon a new line of research: Barcoding neurons, to enable us to use high-throughput sequencing technology to readout the brain’s wiring diagram. We are now using these tools to understand circuits in the auditory cortex and elsewhere.

As a postdoc I also organized a series of workshops on Neural Information and Coding. I then broadened the scope of these and founded the annual Computational and Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) meeting, which now draws over 900 participants, and is arguably the leading meeting on theoretical and systems neuroscience. I am also a founder of NAIsys (, a meeting at the intersection of AI and neuroscience.

Huiqing Zhan

Research Investigator

Director, MAPseq Core Facility

National University of Singapore, PhD. Molecular and Cellular Biology

In addition to running the MAPseq Core Facility I work on mapping synaptic connectivity in situ by PLA (proximity Ligation Assay). I have been trying to combine the PLA technique with BARseq to identify the synaptic connectivity between neurons.

Gilbert Henry

Research Investigator

Ari Benjamin

Postdoctoral Fellow

Stan Kerstjens

Post Doc Computational

The nature of organismal organization, and the developmental processes which bring it into being, have been classic questions of biology*. The holistic operation, development, and evolution of the organism is supported by a precise organization among its many cells. However, this multicellular aggregate ultimately arises from a single cell, whose genomic program is copied throughout its progeny. How does the holistic organism emerge from a collective of differentiated cells that share this mitotically distributed program? And, what is the nature of a program that can control such self-replicating construction?

I started exploring these conjugate questions during my PhD at the Institute of Neuroinformatics at the ETH and University of Zurich, under the supervision of Rodney Douglas, and in collaboration with Florian Engert at Harvard. Now I continue to address them in the Zador lab.

*paraphrased from Waddington’s “The Strategy of the Genes”

Cristian Soitu

Post Doc

University of Aberdeen, UK M.E. in Mechanical Engineering.
University of Oxford Ph.D. Bio-engineering

The focus of my research is to investigate the anatomical substrate of inter-regional communication in the brain at single neuron level. I will be combining two-photon imaging of activity in single neurons with anatomical projections extracted using BARseq. Successful completion of this project would generate unprecedented datasets that bridge information at all levels–anatomical, genetic, physiological and behavioural.

I received my MEng in Mechanical Engineering from University of Aberdeen in 2016 with a research focus on stochastic methods for fluid flow simulation. I then joined Prof. Edmond Walsh’s lab at University of Oxford for a PhD in bioengineering, to work on developing the next generation of microfluidic devices–microfluidics with fluid walls. Finally, in 2021 I started a postdoc in neuroscience at CSHL, indicating that my academic path seems to be governed by an algorithm the uses gradient descent to find the area that best suits my skills.

Li Yuan

Post Doc

University of Nebraska, Ph.D.

I am working on developing axonal BARseq techniques. By improving the sensitivity of BARseq I hope to sequence axonal terminals in cortical and subcortical structures.

Kyle Daruwalla

NeuroAI Scholar

Christian Gerno Pehle

NeuroAI Scholar

Emily Isko

Graduate Student CSHL SBS

I am interested in studying how the evolution of neural circuits shapes species’ behavior. Co-advised by Dr. Banerjee and Dr. Zador, I use technology developed in the Zador Lab to characterize connectomic differences in lab and singing mice. Our goal is to find differences in the species’ neural circuits that can explain the difference in the species’ vocal behaviors.

I received my B.A. in Neuroscience and Music from Amherst College in 2018, where I used electrophysiology to record from single neurons in the lateral line system of larval zebrafish. I then spent 2 years in the lab of Dr. Charles Venditti at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at NIH studying how gut microbes contribute to the development of the genetic, metabolic disease, Methylmalonic Acidemia. In 2020, I joined CSHL as a grad student in the CSHL School of Biological Sciences. I am an active member of CSHL’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group, and play clarinet with other scientist-musicians on campus.

Dennis Maharjan

Graduate Student CSHL SBS

Caldwell College, B.A. Biology
Brandeis University, M.S. Cellular and Molecular Biology

My project is focused on investigating whether synaptic strengthening between auditory cortex and auditory striatum takes place in a cell-type specific manner after animals are trained to perform an auditory discrimination task.

Jingyang Cai

Research Technician I

Hrishikesh Deshpande

Research Associate/Laboratory Manager

Tricia Forys

Senior Scientific Administrator 

Renae Gallucio

Research Technician IV

John Hover

Computational Science Developer III

Ahmed Medhat

Computational Science Developer I

Diana Ravens

Senior Research Associate


Research Technician III

Faculty Alumni

Follow the links to learn more about faculty positions and projects of the Zador Lab Alumni.

Xiaoyin Chen (postdoc) – Allen Institute, Seattle (2021)

Longwen Huang (postdoc) – Institute of Biophysics – Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (2021)

Akihio Funamizu (postdoc) — University of Tokyo Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (2020)

Alexander Vaughan (scientific project manager) — Pymetrics, Chief Science Officer

Petr Znamenskiy (grad student) — Crick Institute, England (2020)

Justus Kebschull (grad student) — Johns Hopkins (2020)

Mike Deweese (postdoc) — U.C. Berkeley

Qiaojie Xiong (postdoc) — Stony Brook

Yang Yang (grad student) — Shanghai Tech

Simon Rumpel (postdoc) — University of Mainz, Germany

Gonzalo Otazu (postdoc) — NY Institute of Technology

Tomas Hromadka (grad student) — Slovak Academy of Sciences

Marta Moita (postdoc) — Champalimaud, Portugal

Susana Lima (postdoc) — Champalimaud, Portugal

Hysell Oviedo (postdoc) — CUNY

Hiro Asari (grad student) — EMBO, Rome

Santiao Jaramillo (postdoc) — U of Oregon, Eugene

Mike Wehr (postdoc) — U of Oregon, Eugene