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Justus Kebschull, PhD

Justus Kebschull
Research Interests: Brain circuit evolution, comparative connectomics & transcriptomics, viral engineering, neuro tool development
Lab Website: Kebschull Lab
Miller Research Building
Research Interests

Research Interests

In the Kebschull Lab, we ask how brain areas, circuits, and cell types change across evolution to produce the complex network architecture of extant vertebrate brains. Answering these questions will not only teach us about evolution but reveal general principles of brain circuit design and network structure.

We approach our work by engineering cutting-edge circuit tracing and viral tools to map brains at much higher resolution and larger scales than previously possible. These tools include barcode sequencing-based tracing tools (MAPseq, BRICseq) and in situ sequencing approaches. We apply these technologies to a variety of species–including mice and humans, but also much less studied species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even sharks–and compare and contrast across them. This process allows us to infer the most likely evolutionary histories of individual brain circuits and of entire networks. Concrete hypotheses are then tested by developmental perturbations to live up to the spirit of “What I cannot create, I do not understand.”

Titles & Affiliations


  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering


  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Neuroscience, Stanford University, 2017-2020
  • PhD, Neuroscience, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2017
  • MSci, Systems Biology, University of Cambridge, 2011
  • BA, Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 2011

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