Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2014
Home Department: Neurobiology
Faculty Advisors: Thomas Clandinin (Neurobiology), Michael Lin (Pediatrics and Bioengineering), and Stephen Baccus (Neurobiology)

Research Title: Optical recording of Drosophila early visual neurons to reveal neuronal computations

Research Description: Nervous systems process and transform information to guide behaviors essential for the photo of Helen Yang in the laboratorysurvival of the organism. Helen is interested in how the brain uses its biological building blocks to implement these computations. To address this open question, she is collaborating with Michael Lin’s lab to develop the in vivo use of genetically encoded voltage indicators—protein tools that report neuronal responses—and use them to study the elementary computation of how a neural circuit computes derivatives. Taken together, this project will advance the use of voltage indicators in intact functional circuits and begin to address the open question of how nervous systems perform the computations that they do.


Helen is a research fellow at Harvard Medical School with Dr. Rachel Wilson.