Karl Deisseroth

Karl Deisseroth

Karl Deisseroth, born November 18, 1971; Boston, USA MD PhD, is the DH Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, California, USA.

Honors and awards

  • 2013  The Richard Lounsbery Prize
  • 2012  The UNC/Perl and the Zuelch Prize
  • 2011  The  Alden Spencer Prize
  • 2010  The Nakasone Prize
  • 2005  The NIH Director’s Pioneer research award funding
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and of the US Institute of Medicine 

Current research interests

My work is focused on developing and applying methods for studying intact biological systems with fine spatiotemporal resolution, and high molecular and genetic specificity. In developing optogenetics between 2004 and 2013, my team integrated genetics and optics to enable experimental gain- or loss-of-function of well-defined events in specific cell-types within intact systems, using genes taken from evolutionarily distant organisms such as algae and archaebacteria. Since my transduction of microbial opsins into neurons in 2004, my applications of my technologies have spanned from basic work on motivated behavior to disease-focused work on Parkinsonism, anxiety, social dysfunction, depression, and other neuropsychiatric diseases.