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Justus Kebschull named 2024 Sloan Research Fellow

February 22, 2024

Justus M. Kebschull, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has been named a 2024 Sloan Research Fellow, a prestigious award celebrating rising stars in academia.

Awarded annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowship honors exceptional U.S. and Canadian researchers whose creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders. Open to scholars in seven fields—chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics—the Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in close coordination with the scientific community. To date, fellows have gone on to win 57 Nobel Prizes and 71 National Medals of Science.

Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists and winners are selected by independent panels of senior scholars based on a candidate’s research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in their field. More than 1,000 researchers are nominated each year. Winners receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship which can be used flexibly to advance the fellow’s research.

Kebschull’s research aims to understand the structure and function of the brain. To do so, he takes a comparative approach and engineers molecular, viral, and sequencing technologies to measure neuronal connectivity networks and gene expression at scale in disease models and a wide range of vertebrates. He developed the first barcode sequencing-based approaches to map neuronal connectivity, increasing throughput of single-neuron mapping by orders of magnitude and opening the door to single-cell comparative connectomics. He complements these barcoding approaches by in situ sequencing of barcodes and genes. Leveraging these technologies, his team asks questions including: How do new brain regions and connections evolve to support new computations? What are the organizing principles and fundamental circuit motifs of the vertebrate brain? And how do drugs of abuse and neurodevelopmental disorders break these principles?

“I feel honored to have my research recognized by the Sloan Foundation and scientific community,” said Kebschull. “It’s exciting to see five recipients from Johns Hopkins this year. This recognition is a testament to the hard work of my lab members and the unique environment at Hopkins. The Fellowship will support me and my group as we continue to develop new tools to advance our study of the brain and its evolution.”

A total of five faculty members across Johns Hopkins were selected as fellows this year. Including this year’s winners, 87 faculty from Johns Hopkins University have received a Sloan Research Fellowship.

Category: Faculty
Associated Faculty: Justus Kebschull

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