Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
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Daibhid O Maoileidigh
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Ó Maoiléidigh group employs mathematical and computational approaches to better understand normal hearing and hearing impairment. Because complete restoration of auditory function by artificial devices or regenerative treatments will only be possible when experiments and computational modeling align, we work closely with experimental laboratories. Our goal is to understand contemporary experimental observations, to make experimentally testable predictions, and to motivate new experiments. We are pursuing several projects.
Auditory and balance organs rely on hair cells to convert mechanical vibrations into electrical signals for transmission to the brain. In response to the quietest sounds we can hear, the hair cell's mechanical sensor, the hair bundle, moves by less than one-billionth of a meter. To determine how this astounding sensitivity is possible, we construct computational models of hair-bundle mechanics. By comparing models with experimental observations, we are learning how a hair bundle's geometry, material properties, and ability to move spontaneously determine its function.
The cochlea contains the auditory organ that houses the sensory hair cells in mammals. Vibrations in the cochlea arising from sound are amplified more than a thousandfold by the ear's active process. New experimental techniques have additionally revealed that the cochlea vibrates in a complex manner in response to sound. We use computational models to interpret these observations and to make hypotheses about how the cochlea works.
Ashley Lauren O'Connell
Assistant Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe O'Connell lab studies how genetic and environmental factors contribute to biological diversity and adaptation. We are particularly interested in understanding (1) how behavior evolves through changes in brain function and (2) how animal physiology evolves through repurposing existing cellular components.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Public Mental Health and Population Sciences)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. O'Hara's research aims to investigate how cognitive information processing deficits subserve affective symptoms in psychiatric disorders, and interact with key brain networks integral to these disorders. To do so, she has implemented a translational, interdisciplinary program that encompasses cellular models, brain and behavioral assays of affective and cognitive information processing systems in psychiatric disorders across the lifespan.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Computer Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research focuses on developing the principles and tools needed to realize advanced robotic and human-machine systems capable of physical interaction. Application areas include surgery, simulation and training, rehabilitation, prosthetics, neuromechanics, exploration of hazardous and remote environments (e.g. space), design, and education.
Cadence Design Systems Professor and Professor of Electrical Engineering
BioKunle Olukotun is the Cadence Design Systems Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University. Olukotun is well known as a pioneer in multicore processor design and the leader of the Stanford Hydra chip multiprocessor (CMP) research project. Olukotun founded Afara Websystems to develop high-throughput, low-power multicore processors for server systems. The Afara multicore processor, called Niagara, was acquired by Sun Microsystems. Niagara derived processors now power all Oracle SPARC-based servers. Olukotun currently directs the Stanford Pervasive Parallelism Lab (PPL), which seeks to proliferate the use of heterogeneous parallelism in all application areas using Domain Specific Languages (DSLs).
Anthony Oro, MD, PhD
Eugene and Gloria Bauer Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur lab uses the skin to answer questions about epithelial stem cell biology, differentiation and carcinogenesis using genomics, genetics, and cell biological techniques. We have studied how hedgehog signaling regulates regeneration and skin cancer, and how tumors evolve to develop resistance. We study the mechanisms of early human skin development using human embryonic stem cells. These fundamentals studies provide a greater understanding of epithelial biology and novel disease therapeutics.
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Environmental Complexity Lab studies self-organization in a variety of complex systems, ranging from turbulent fluid flows to granular materials to collective motion in animal groups. In all cases, we aim to characterize the macroscopic behavior, understand its origin in the microscopic dynamics, and ultimately harness it for engineering applications. Most of our projects are experimental, though we also use numerical simulation and mathematical modeling when appropriate. We specialize in high-speed, detailed imaging and statistical analysis.
Our current research includes studies of turbulence in two and three dimensions, with a focus on coherent structures and the geometry of turbulence; the transport of inertial, anisotropic, and active particles in turbulence; the erosion of granular beds by fluid flows and subsequent sediment transport; quantitative measurements of collective behavior in insect swarms and bird flocks; the stability of ocean ecosystems; neural signal processing; and uncovering the natural, self-organized spatiotemporal scales in urban systems.