Training in Theoretical and Computational Approaches to Neural Circuits of Cognition Program Fellows

supported by NIMH grant 5T32MH132518

Dr. Jacob Sacks is postdoctoral scholar working on problems at the intersection of neuroscience and machine learning in the lab of Prof. Matthew Golub in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of Washington (UW). Jacob is co-advised on the T32 by Prof. Amy Orsborn. During his Ph.D. in CSE at UW, Jacob worked with Prof. Byron Boots on machine learning for control in robotics, drawing from deep learning, optimal control, and reinforcement learning. Now, Jacob is broadly interested in developing machine learning tools to understand how neural populations compute in the context of decision making, motor control, and learning. He is also interested in how these tools can be used to build better brain-computer interfaces and prosthetics. Outside of research, Jacob is an avid guitarist and music composer and loves to play the same old RPG video games over and over again

Katherine Perks is a 3rd year neuroscience graduate student in Dr. Amy Orsborn’s lab at the University of Washington. She is co-advised on the T32 by Dr. Matt Golub. Katherine is interested in understanding how the brain learns flexible, effective motor control through both internal model-driven and external sensory-driven processes. Her work combines control theory with neural interfaces and rich behavioral assays. Katherine received her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin and performed postbaccalaureate research at Baylor College of Medicine as an NIH PREP fellow.

Noah Stanis is a first year Bioengineering PhD student in the Neural Engineering and Rehabilitation Design lab led by Dr. Azadeh Yazdan-Shahmorad. He is interested in decoding neural circuits that are coupled with behavior and how altering neural activity subsequently alters this behavior. He is especially interested in using these discoveries to develop closed-loop neural interfaces to aid in stimulation-based neurorehabilitation strategies to recovery function and mobility in individuals with neurological disorders.