Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D.

Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D.


Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Dr. Deisseroth coined the term “optogenetics” to name the breakthrough technology he developed that uses light to control millisecond-precision activity patterns in genetically-defined cell types within the brains of freely moving animals. His laboratory and thousands of others around the globe are now applying this technology to probe the dynamics of neural circuits in both healthy and diseased brains.

Dr. Deisseroth received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Harvard in 1992, his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1998, and his M.D. from Stanford in 2000. He completed postdoctoral training, medical internship and adult psychiatry residency at Stanford, and he was board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 2006. While continuing as a practicing psychiatrist specializing in mood disorders and autism-spectrum disease, Dr. Deisseroth teaches and serves as the chair of undergraduate education in bioengineering at the Stanford University School of Engineering.

NARSAD Grants: Young Investigator 2005 and 2007

Foundation Prizes: 2013 Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cognitive Neuroscience