Rockefeller UniversityKavli Neural Systems Institute

Developing new tools and novel approaches to meet the very biggest challenges in neuroscience

Neuroscience is undergoing a convergence with fields such as bioengineering, nanoscience, and computer science that is expected to accelerate in the coming decades. The Kavli Neural Systems Institute (Kavli NSI) aims to be at the forefront of that shift.

Founded 2015
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Alipasha Vaziri

Director, Kavli Neural Systems Institute

Mary E. Hatten

Associate Director, Kavli Neural Systems Institute


  • NEUROBIOLOGY OF BEHAVIOR: How genes and neural circuits generate flexible behaviors that enable organisms to respond to their environments.
  • NEURAL DEVELOPMENT: Understanding how the architecture of the brain is established through studies of the formation of the nervous system in the early embryo, the differentiation and migration of neurons, and the establishment of the brain’s basic wiring plan.
  • NEURAL INTEGRATION AND COMPUTATION: Experimental and theoretical research on higher brain functions such as visual processing, object and face recognition, decision-making, and creativity.
  • BIOPHYSICS: The role of physical forces in the nervous system, from the flow of charged particles that generate electrical impulses to the mechanics of hearing and physical sensation.
  • NEUROTECHNOLOGY: Development of tools for the laboratory, including biocompatible quantum dots for imaging, high-throughput genetic profiling methods, and nanoparticle-based techniques to modify cell activity.
  • NEUROBIOLOGY OF NEUROLOGICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS: Research on the causes of a range of illnesses–including depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy, addiction, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease–elucidating the brain’s normal functions while opening new possibilities for disease treatment and prevention.

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    At Kavli Institutes around the world, scientists explore the frontiers of science in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics.

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