Daniel Benjamin Aharoni

Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Neurology, University of California Los Angeles

Our research lies at the intersection of engineering, neuroscience, and physics. In particular, we focus on applying tool development methodologies from engineering and physics to address current challenges in neuroscience and medicine. Working often times in close collaboration with other researchers, we concentrate on finding solutions to critical design problems (hardware, software, analysis, experimental) and develop those solutions from concept to implementation. In recent years, Dr. Aharoni led the development of the Miniscope system, an open-source microscopy platform for recording and analyzing neural activity in freely behaving animals. Our platform is currently being used in over 450 laboratories with an active and growing user base, making it one of the most successful open-source neuroscience tools to date.Our work is motivated by two goals: (i) to contribute to the growing trend of democratizing access to transformative tools in neuroscience, and (ii) to bridge the gap between specialized tool design and the intricacies of modern neuroscience. Specifically, the lab’s research program focuses on expanding optical, electrical, and behavioral techniques through the development of novel, yet accessible, tools that generate quantitatively and qualitatively new types of data.