Staff Profiles

Christof Koch, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist & President

Christof Koch joined the Allen Institute as Chief Scientific Officer in 2011 and became President in 2015. 

He received his baccalaureate from the Lycée Descartes in Rabat, Morocco, his M.S. in physics from the University of Tübingen in Germany and his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institut für Biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen. Subsequently, he spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1987 until 2013, he was a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, from his initial appointment as Assistant Professor, Division of Biology and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1986, to his final position as Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive & Behavioral Biology. See here for Christof's academic pedigree and his students.

Koch has published extensively, and his writings and interests integrate theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscience. His most recent book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, blends science and memoir to explore topics in discovering the roots of consciousness. Stemming in part from a long-standing collaboration with the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, Koch authored the book The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. He has also authored the technical books Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons and Methods in Neuronal Modeling: From Ions to Networks, and served as editor for several books on neural modeling and information processing. Koch’s research addresses scientific questions using a widely multidisciplinary approach.

His research interests include elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying neural computation, understanding the mechanisms and purpose of visual attention, and uncovering the neural basis of consciousness and the subjective mind. 

Visit Christof's Wikipedia page.

Selected Publications View on PUBMED

Sparse recurrent excitatory connectivity in the cortical microcircuit of the adult mouse and human

April 7, 2018

Seeman SC, Campagnola L, Davoudian PA, Hoggarth A, Hage T, Bosma-Moody A, Baker CA, Lee JH, Mihalas S, Teeter C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Gwinn RP, Silbergeld DL, Cobbs C, Phillips J, Lein E, Murphy G, Koch C, Zeng H, Jarsky T

The organization of intracortical connections by layer and cell class in the mouse brain

April 18, 2018

Harris JA, Mihalas S, Hirokawa KE, Whitesell JD, Knox J, Bernard A, Bohn P, Caldejon S, Casal L, Cho A, Feng D, Gaudreault N, Gerfen C, Graddis N, Groblewski PA, Henry A, Ho A, Howard R, Kuan L, Lecoq J, Luviano J, McConoughey S, Mortrud M, Naeemi M, Ng L, Oh SW, Ouellette B, Sorensen SA, Wakeman W, Wang Q, Williford A, Phillips J, Jones A, Koch C, Zeng H

Visual physiology of the Layer 4 cortical circuit in silico

March 31, 2018

Arkhipov A, Gouwens NW, Billeh YN, Gratiy S, Iyer R, Wei Z, Xu Z, Berg J, Buice M, Cain N, da Costa N, de Vries S, Denman D, Durand S, Feng D, Jarsky T, Lecoq J, Lee B, Li L, Mihalas S, Ocker GK, Olsen SR, Reid RC, Soler-LLavina G, Sorensen SA, Wang Q, Waters J, Scanziani M, Koch C

Generalized leaky integrate-and-fire models classify multiple neuron types

Nature Communications
February 19, 2018

Teeter C, Iyer R, Menon V, Gouwens N, Feng D, Berg J, Szafer A, Cain N, Zeng H, Hawrylycz M, Koch C, Mihalas S

Systematic generation of biophysically detailed models for diverse cortical neuron types

Nature Communications
February 19, 2018

Gouwens NW, Berg J, Feng D, Sorensen SA, Zeng H, Hawrylycz MJ, Koch C, Arkhipov A

Systematic generation of biophysically detailed models for diverse cortical neuron types

Nature Communications
February 19, 2018

Gouwens NW, Berg J, Feng D, Sorensen SA, Zeng H, Hawrylycz MJ, Koch C, and Arkhipov A

Neural correlates of consciousness: progress and problems

Nature Reviews Neuroscience
April 20, 2016

Koch C, Massimini M, Boly M, Tononi G

Low-level awareness accompanies "unconscious" high-level processing during continuous flash suppression

Journal of Vision
January 1, 2016

Gelbard-Sagiv H, Faivre N, Mudrik L, Koch C

Automated High-Throughput Characterization of Single Neurons by Means of Simplified Spiking Models

PLoS Computational Biology
June 17, 2015

Pozzorini C, Skander M, Hagens O, Naud R, Koch C, Gerstner W

Cell-type- and activity-dependent extracellular correlates of intracellular spiking

Journal of Neurophysiology
May 20, 2015

Anastassiou CA, Perin R, Buzsaki G, Markram H, Koch C

Emergence of slow-switching assemblies in structured neuronal networks

February 23, 2015

Schaub MT, Billeh YN, Anastassiou CA, Koch C, Barahona M

A biophysically detailed model of neocortical local field potentials predicts the critical role of active membrane currents

July 24, 2013

Reimann MW, Anastassiou CA, Perin R, Hill SL, Markram H, Koch C