Group Leader

Duda Kvitsiani

Ph.D., Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna 2006

Bio

Duda started his career in Barry Dickson's lab (2002-2006), where he studied the molecular genetics and neurobiology of drosophila courtship ritual. He continued his postdoc in Adam Kepecs’s Lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2007-2014), where his work in rodents demonstrated the specific role of interneuron subtypes in network dynamics and behavior. At DANDRITE Duda hopes to advance molecular and circuit-level understanding of foraging behavior in flies and mice.

Postdoc

Madeny Belkhiri

PhD in Physics, University Paris XI Sud made at Commisariat à l´Ènergie Atomique (C.E.A) centre de Saclay, Paris 2014

Research

The goal of my research is to uncover how the brain builds abstract, nonlinear representations and how those representations drive behaviour. To achieve this objective, my work aims to extract principles behind circuit level cortical computations by monitoring activity of genetically identified cell-types in mice solving auditory non-linear classification task. However in order to fully understand computations performed by cortical circuits I use experimental data to build biologically plausible neural network models solving similar tasks.

Madeny joined Kvitsiani lab in December 2015.

PhD Student

Juliane Martin

M.Sc., University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg 2013

Research

My fascination for the brain and its function results from the simple fact that the activity of our brain shapes who we are – our sensations, thoughts and behavior – and does so in health as well as in disease. Therefore, I would like to understand the neural basis of behavior. For my PhD, by combining behavioral assays with chronic electrophysiological recordings and optogenetics, I study decision-making in mice and the underlying role of prefrontal circuits.

Juliane joined Kvitsiani lab in June 2015.

PhD Student

Sophie Seidenbecher

M.Sc. in Physics, Technical University Berlin, Berlin 2015

Research

I am interested in decision making and computational models of decision making behavior. My current research aims to understand foraging decisions in fruit flies and their underlying molecular basis. With our optogenetic foraging assay, we can study foraging decisions in an uncertain environment, by giving probabilistic rewards. To uncover the key molecular players for this behavior, we will perform a RNAi screen and use computational models to track the link between genes and behavior.

Sophie joined Kvitsiani lab in October 2015.

PhD Student

Jesper Hagelskjær

M.Sc., Aarhus University

Research

I work on developing a new optical method to stimulate a single neuron with light through a multimode fiber. To accomplish this, the newest method for wavefront shaping is used. This technique relies on using a spatial light modulator. This modulator can shape the wavefront of the light there is coupled into the fiber. Thereby, it will be possible to make the different activated modes inside the fiber to make destructive or destructive interference, hence creating areas of high and low intensity inside of the brain.
Keywords:
Laser system
Spatial light modulator
c++
Python
High speed camera

Jesper joined Kvitsiani lab in December 2015.

PhD Student

Junior Samuel Lopez Yepez

M.Sc. in Molecular Biophotonics, L'École Normale Supérieure Paris - Saclay, Paris 2015

Research

My research goal is to explore the neural circuit mechanisms and algorithms that control foraging decisions in mice. For this we develop new tools to concurrently measure electrophysiological activity and release of neuromodulatory transmitters in prefrontal circuits while the animals make decisions in probabilistic environments.

Junior joined Kvitsiani lab in September 2016.

Research Assistant

Anna-Liisa Ikart

M.Sc. in Natural Sciences (Molecular Biochemistry)

Research

My tasks include experimental work in M. Belkhiri's project, mice behavioural box designing, 3D-modelling, 3D-printing and lab maintenance.

Anna-Liisa joined Kvitsiani lab in February 2016.

Research Assistant

Maria Møller Moltesen

PhD in Molecular Biology

Research

I'm assisting lab members in behavioral training and testing of animals and build tools to record and activate neurons using our electrophysiology and optical stimulation set ups.

Maria joined Kvitsiani lab in August 2018.

Student Assistant

Maris Sala

Cognitive Science Student

Research

We study decision-making in mice and in humans in a project that is part of a PhD thesis and additionally a project I am doing to study the utility function in mice.

Maris joined Kvitsiani lab in February 2018.

Student Assistant

Dovile Saulenaite

BSc. in Genetics

Research

I'm studying foraging decisions in fruit flies and assisting other lab members with their experimental work.

Dovile joined Kvitsiani lab in September 2018.

Former Student Assistant

Eske Hoy Nielsen

Engineering Student

Research

Eske joined Kvitsiani lab in August 2017.

Former Student Assistant

Bence Volosinovszki

Engineering Student

Research

I am designing and constructing a natural food droplet delivery system for fruit fly foraging experiments.

Bence joined Kvitsiani lab in February 2017.

Former Postdoc

Josh Sanders

Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York 2013

Bio

Josh joined Kvitsiani lab in 2014. He studied the computation of decision confidence in the human and rodent brains, in Kepecs Lab at Cold Spring Harbor. He is also an embedded technology developer and open source advocate, and continues to advance open systems for neuroscience research. He is now the CEO of his own startup company SANWORKS, building open source solutions for neuroscience research.