Skip to main content Skip to footer

Jerry Chen

College positions:
Visiting Fellow
Boston University
Contact details:

Professor Jerry Chen

Professor Chen studies the cortical circuits underlying abstract learning using rodent models.

Dr Jerry Chen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Boston University, USA.

He received his BA in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and PhD in Neurobiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed postdoctoral training at the Brain Research Institute at the University of Zurich prior to joining the faculty at Boston University.

Dr. Chen studies the cortical circuits underlying abstract learning using rodent models. His initial work focused on how sensory features are extracted and classified in the mouse whisker sensorimotor system as animals carry out rule-based tactile working memory tasks. He takes a vertically-driven approach that aims to dissect circuit function across a range of spatial and temporal scales combining optical physiology, functional perturbation, anatomical tracing, and genetic mapping. In parallel, he has developed a suite of new technologies including mesoscopic two-photon imaging for measuring inter-areal population activity, ultra-fast two-photon voltage imaging for monitoring subthreshold and spiking dynamics, and a platform called Comprehensive Readout of Activity and Cell Type MarKers (CRACK) that combines in vivo cellular imaging with spatial transcriptomics. With these methods, he is now focusing on circuit computations underlying context-dependent sensory processing and goal-directed learning of abstract relational knowledge. He is also interested in understanding mechanisms that underlie individual variation in cognitive performance by combining large-scale goal-directed behavior, automated circuit interrogation, and neurogenomics.

At Clare Hall, Jerry is accompanied by his wife, Ines Garcia de la Puente, Senior Lecturer at Boston University – a researcher in Medieval Eastern Slavic Literature.

Select publications

  • Platisa J*, Ye X*, Ahrens AM, Liu C, Chen IA, Davison IG, Tian L, Pieribone VA, Chen JL. High-speed low-light in vivo two-photon voltage imaging of large neuronal populations. Nat Methods. 2023 Mar 27; doi: 10.1038/s41592-023-01820-3. *Equal contribution
  • Condylis C, Ghanbari A, Manjrekar N, Bistrong K, Yao SQ, Yao ZZ, Nguyen TN, Zeng HK, Tasic B, Chen JL. Dense functional and molecular readout of a circuit hub in sensory cortex. Science. 2022 Jan 7;375(6576):eabl5981.
  • Clough M, Chen IA, Park SW, Ahrens AM, Stirman JN, Smith SL, Chen JL. Flexible simultaneous mesoscale two-photon imaging of neural activity at high speeds. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 17; 12(1):6638.
  • Condylis C*, Lowet E*, Ni J, Bistrong K, Ouellette T, Josephs N, Chen JL. Context dependent sensory processing across primary and secondary somatosensory cortex. Neuron. 2020 May 6;106(3):515-525.e5. *Equal contribution.
  • Chen JL*, Voigt F*, Javadzadeh M, Kruppel R, Helmchen F. Long-range population dynamics of anatomically defined neocortical networks. eLife. 2016 May 24;5. pii: e14679. *Equal contribution
  • Chen JL, Margolis DJ, Stankov A, Sumanovski LT, Schneider BL, Helmchen F. Pathway-specific reorganization of projection neurons in somatosensory cortex during learning. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Aug;18(8):1101-1108.
  • Chen JL, Carta S, Soldado-Magraner J, Schneider BL, Helmchen F. Behaviour-dependent recruitment of long-range projection neurons in somatosensory cortex. Nature. 2013 Jul 18;499(7458):336-380.

Select Awards

  • NIH DP2 New Innovator Award (2018)
  • Cajal Club Krieg Cortical Kudos Explorer Award (2016)
  • Federation of European Neuroscience Societies EJN Young Investigator Prize (2016)
  • Society for Neuroscience Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award (2015)

Further links