Viviana Gradinaru (BS '05)—assistant professor of biology and biological engineering, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, and director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech—has been named a Vallee Scholar by the Bert L and N Kuggie Vallee Foundation. She is one of five scientists chosen from an international pool of nominated early-career researchers. The scholarship provides each recipient $250,000 in funding for basic biomedical research.
Gradinaru is a neuroscientist who studies many aspects of the brain, such as neuronal circuits for sleep and motor movements, and neural drug delivery. She uses techniques such as optogenetics, viral vectors, and tissue clearing—a technique to render tissues transparent, which she helped develop during her graduate work at Stanford.
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