Matt Isaacson


 Principal Investigator:
         Dr. Nishimura

Matt's primary research interests are to better understand the neuroscience of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and to develop new tools and technology to aid future neuroscience research. His current projects in the Schaffer-Nishimura Lab utilize multiphoton calcium imaging and state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) technologies to probe the neurobiological mechanisms of visual information processing and spatial navigation-related cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse models. The ability to visualize neural activity in deep brain structures while the mouse is performing complex tasks in VR will give us a better neurobiological understanding of how potential treatments for cognitive decline might work to restore proper brain function.
Matt received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in Neuroscience from the Janelia Research Campus/University of Cambridge joint graduate program. With education and experience in both engineering and neuroscience, Matt has been involved in many projects involving the development of novel assays and technologies to better address current challenges faced by neuroscientists. In the Lab of Michael Reiser at the Janelia Research Campus, he developed a high-speed visual display and virtual reality system and characterized new circuits involved in fast translational motion-detection in fruit flies. Further advancing display systems in the Schaffer-Nishimura lab, he developed the MouseGoggles VR system, a low-cost, open-source VR headset for mouse neuroscience and behavior applications. When he’s not in the lab, Matt enjoys exploring the outdoors with his wife Ally, children Everett and Emily, and dog Sydney.

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