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Computation and Theory

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Computation and Theory

Building quantitative understanding of biology and interpreting data at scale.

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We develop machine vision and learning algorithms to analyze and interpret raw data across spatial and temporal scales.

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We develop theoretical frameworks and data-driven computational models to distill general principles that govern how and why biological systems operate the way they do. 

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Working with experimental biologists, we use these computational analyses and theoretical frameworks to design new experiments that refine and test our models, filling in the biggest gaps in our understanding of biological processes.

At Janelia, researchers are developing new technologies that produce incredibly large and complex data sets. The opportunity to deploy such technologies places a premium on new theory, modeling, and analysis tools to appropriately prioritize new experiments and to extract understanding from data. Janelia’s Computation and Theory labs work collaboratively with experimental labs to tackle these challenges.

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02/13/22 |  Congratulations to Stephan Saalfeld, who was named Interim Head of Computation & Theory. Learn more about the Saalfeld lab.


05/11/20 |  We are excited to welcome Carsen Stringer as a Group Leader in Computation and Theory. Learn more about the Stringer lab

We're Recruiting

08/01/23 | We are accepting applications for group leaders. Competition closes November 1. 

Learn more and apply.
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Meet Allyson Sgro

Allyson Sgro joined Janelia in 2022 as a Group Leader in Computation and Theory and 4D Cellular Physiology. Her path to science started early—she entered college without ever graduating from high school. At Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Sgro pursued her love of science through majoring in chemistry, leading her to earn a PhD in chemistry focusing on developing methods for quantitative biology and neuroscience. After she developed an allergy to mice, Sgro pivoted to slime molds and how they process information to work together, leading her to her current research where she works to understand how cells, in general, coordinate their behavior. 

Learn More »

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Our Work

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Connectivity reconstruction at scale

Janelia scientists are developing computational methods to align, correct, and annotate serial microscopy sections to enable high-quality, automated reconstruction of neural connectivity. 

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Increasing biological understanding

Computer-vision and machine-learning methods enable the analysis of data sets that are too large for manual inspection alone. 

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Open Positions

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“One of our greatest successes is our collaborative culture – how closely integrated Computation and Theory scientists are with other Janelia labs.”
-Kristin Branson

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