Ed boyden

Ed Boyden


Ed Boyden is Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT, an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the MIT McGovern Institute, and professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Media Arts and Sciences, and Biological Engineering at MIT. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, which develops tools for analyzing and repairing complex biological systems, such as the brain, and applies them systematically to reveal ground truth principles of biological function and to repair these systems. He co-directs the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering and the K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics, and is a faculty member of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Computational & Systems Biology Initiative, and Koch Institute.

Ed received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University as a Hertz Fellow. In parallel to his PhD, as an independent side project, he co-invented optogenetic control of neurons, which is now used throughout neuroscience. Previously, he studied chemistry at the Texas Academy of Math and Science at the University of North Texas, starting college at age 14, where he worked on origins of life chemistry. He went on to earn three degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, and physics, from MIT, graduating at age 19, while working on quantum computing for his Masters of Engineering thesis.

Ed is the recipient of the Wilhelm Exner Medal (2020), the Croonian Medal (2019), the Canada Gairdner International Award (2018), the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2016), the Grete Lundbeck Brain Prize (2013) and numerous other recognitions. He was named to the World Economic Forum Young Scientist list (2013) and the Technology Review World’s "Top 35 Innovators under Age 35" list (2006), and is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences (2019).