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For updated information, please visit my lab web: dura-bernal.org
I am an Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate and Principal Investigator (PI) in two research grants and a research grant proposal, currently under review. I have 23 peer-reviewed papers and over 30 conference abstracts covering my fields of expertise: computational neuroscience, bioinformatics, robotics and machine learning. My work results from strong interdisciplinary collaborations with a wide range of scientists, including engineers, biologists and physicians. I also have several years of experience developing and teaching computational neuroscience courses at a graduate and undergraduate level and supervising student projects.
My current research focuses on the development, parallel simulation and analysis of large-scale biophysically detailed brain circuit models. For this purpose, I have released a neuroinformatics software tool (www.netpyne.org) to facilitate building models that integrate the complex neural experimental data available at multiple scales – molecules, neurons, networks and behavior. As part of my research, I have used the tool to build the most detailed model of mouse motor cortex microcircuits up to date. It accurately reproduces the morphology and biophysics of motor cortex neurons, and includes experimentally-grounded synaptic connectivity at the long-range, local and dendritic level. The model has enabled us to identify neural coding mechanisms and evaluate innovative pharmacological and neurostimulation treatments for motor disorders.
I was recently awarded the 2019 Robert F. Furchgott Scholar Award for Excellence in Research - https://www.downstate.edu/rffs/awards/recipients.html