Dr. Heather Dean
Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences
Class of 2013
Dr. Heather Dean started out as an electrical engineering major at Caltech interested in neural networks. She was soon exploring the biological side of such networks by studying locust olfaction with Dr. Gilles Laurent, earning her a Masters degree in Computation and Neural Systems along with her BS in Electrical Engineering. It also set her on the path of neuroscience research, and she went on to earn her PhD in Neurobiology at Duke University, where she moved into monkey electrophysiology with Dr. Michael Platt. After graduate school, she spent six years at New York University helping to found the lab of Dr. Bijan Pesaran and studying the neural circuitry underlying hand-eye coordination in monkeys. There, in addition to helping to build the lab, she started the lab’s work in optogenetics. At NSF, she is interested in working on issues related to cutting-edge interdisciplinary neuroscience, data sharing, science communication and broadening participation.