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

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

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.

Kaleb Vinehout

Post Doc

Marquette University, B.S. Biomedical Engineering
Medical College of Wisconsin, Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering

My project focuses on combining multimodal information about neural circuits at the single-neuron level with both image processing and machine learning techniques. Then using insights from these data to develop neurologically inspired artificial intelligence.

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.

Christopher Krasniak

Graduate Student WSBS

Colby College, B.A. Biology and Psychology

I am splitting my time between two projects for my PhD in the Zador lab. One is contributing to the International Brain Laboratory  a large-scale collaboration with the goal to standardize systems neuroscience while investigating the mechanisms for complex behaviors brain wide.  My individual project focuses on how the brain is able to solve the same tasks using different neural circuits following damage to the brain.

Shaina Lu

Graduate Student WSBS

Swarthmore College, B.S. Biology

My project involves pairing gene expression and spatial location to lean whole brain patterns of transcription.  I am using spatially resolved whole-transcriptome data from the mouse brain to determine if canonical, anatomically-derived brain areas can be learned using only transcription.

Dennis Maharjan

Graduate Student WSBS

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.

Khristina Samoilova

Graduate Student WSBS

Novosibirsk State University, Russia  M.S. in Applied Mathematics

My current project concentrates on olfactory coding. The olfactory system faces multiple challenges, and I am using a receptor dynamics-based approach to reformulate and solve some of those problems.

Wiktor Wadolowski

Laboratory Manager

Corinne Freivald

Research Technician

Erica Bulzomi

Research Technician

Yi- Chen Wu

Research Technician

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