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Timothy E. Holy, PhD

Timothy E. Holy, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience and of biomedical engineering, is honored for his contributions to the field of neuroscience — particularly his pioneering research regarding olfaction and the use of novel neuroimaging methods.

Holy is an esteemed neuroscientist who applies his expertise in math and neuroscience to elucidate the function of neural circuits. He invented the use of objective-coupled planar illumination (OCPI) microscopy, which increased the speed and scale of fluorescence microscopy and made it possible to image large tissues such as the olfactory bulb and mouse cortex to visualize neuronal function.

His studies take advantage of his interest in large-scale numerical computing and high-throughput optical recordings. By studying mouse ultrasonic vocalizations and comparing those to songs by birds and other species, he is exploring the neurobiological basis of stuttering. He recently identified the first known female sex pheromones in a mouse model and, early in his career, was the first to determine that sulfated steroids were a major class of natural compounds that activate vomeronasal sensory neurons. In addition, he is an internationally recognized leader in the development of Julia, a scientific language platform used in high-performance numerical computing.

Holy is the recipient of the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award and the Society for Neuroscience’s Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience (RAIN). He is an outstanding mentor for young scientists and co-administers the neuroscience course.

Holy earned his doctoral degree in physics from Princeton University in 1997. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Harvard University, he joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in 2001.

Published: 09/13/2017