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Marius Pachitariu

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Biography

I received my bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in mathematics, where I first discovered computational neuroscience through the guidance of Carlos Brody and Philip Holmes. I was fascinated by the complex analysis problems posed by neuroscience, but my training in mathematics was not enough to tackle them. I needed to learn machine learning, so I pursued a PhD at University College London's Gatsby Unit under the supervision of Maneesh Sahani. There I had the opportunity to interact with UCL’s broad neuroscience community and pursued projects in collaboration with experimental groups like those of Nick Lesica, Sonja Hofer, Tom Mrsic-Flogel and Michael Hausser.

Upon graduation, I stayed at UCL to do a postdoc in the joint lab of Kenneth Harris and Matteo Carandini. This is where I performed my first experiments, and also where Kilosort and Suite2p were born. We built these two processing pipelines to address the lab’s needs for fast ephys and 2p data processing, but our user base quickly grew way outside our lab.  In parallel, I developed a protocol to record the activity of approximately 10,000 neurons from the same area of the mouse brain. This enabled us to observe and quantify new properties of population responses, which we could not observe with smaller recordings. At Janelia, we will continue to record and analyze such populations, but adding in complex behaviors with flexible, multi-dimensional aspects.