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Jonathan Ting, Ph.D.

Scientist II

Jonathan T. Ting joined the Allen Institute in 2013 to provide electrophysiology expertise for the Human Cell Types program. Ting has over 10 years of experience in patch clamp electrophysiology encompassing both primary neuronal culture and acute brain slices. In his postdoctoral fellowships at Duke University and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, he studied the neural circuitry basis of psychiatric disorders and helped to establish novel genetic mouse models that exhibit behaviors reminiscent of the core features of autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans. These genetic mouse models serve as invaluable platforms for exploring more effective treatment strategies for a poorly understood spectrum of psychiatric disorders. His most recent work at MIT involved technology development including the design of novel transgenic expression strategies and the development and functional characterization of several transgenic mouse lines that are now widely employed for optogenetic control of nervous system function.  Ting previously earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology & Behavior and conducted his thesis research in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from the University of California at Davis.

Research

Expertise

  • Patch Clamp Electrophysiology
  • Synaptic Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Gene Targeting and Transgene Expression Strategies
  • Viral Gene Delivery

Research Programs

  • Human cell types

Research Interests

A comprehensive analysis of the architecture and function of the human brain requires a multifaceted strategy for revealing the true complexity and diversity of cell types that reside within. It is the exquisite and complex assembly of these unique cell types into distinct functional circuits that enables us to perform essential tasks such as sensory perception, coordinated movement, cognition, and more. Although much effort has been devoted to anatomical mapping of the human brain using post-mortem tissue in both health and disease, the detailed analysis of functions subserved by individual cells within the living human brain has been more challenging to explore. To achieve this goal, I will participate in an ambitious and exciting project at the Allen Institute involving collaboration with local neurosurgeons in the greater-Seattle area to obtain neurosurgical samples of human cortex. Human brain tissue will be sectioning into living brain slices and transported to the Allen Institute for detailed analysis using diverse methodologies including patch clamp electrophysiology, optical imaging, transcriptional profiling, morphological reconstructions, and array tomography. We hope this effort will culminate in a comprehensive classification of cell types of the human neocortex.