Beth Buffalo is a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington and serves as the chief of the Neuroscience Division of the Washington National Primate Research Center. Dr. Buffalo received her M.A. in philosophy and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego, advised by Drs. Larry Squire, Stuart Zola and Patricia Churchla nd. She then completed her postdoctoral training with Dr. Robert Desimone at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2005, Dr. Buffalo joined the faculty in the Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2012. She then moved her laboratory to the University of Washington in 2013. Her research has been supported by awards from the NIH, the Simons Foundation, Pfizer, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and she was the 2011 recipient of the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences for her innovative, multidisciplinary study of the hippocampus and the neural basis of memory.
Since choosing to study neuroscience as an undergraduate, I have been fascinated with the way in which complex behaviors, including memory, creativity, and emotion can emerge from the activity of neurons in the brain. This interest led me towards my current research, which uses electrophysiological techniques to investigate the activity of neural networks in the medial temporal lobe and how this activity correlates with memory formation. Especially interesting to me is the way that ensembles of neurons in the brain can coordinate their activity in ways that might facilitate certain cellular processes, such as synaptic plasticity or the release of neurotransmitters, in order to affect widespread changes in the mind or in behavior. My current research goal is to contribute to a more thorough understanding of the basic processes underlying normal memory function. Hopefully, this will improve our ability to characterize irregular neural activity in humans exhibiting symptoms of memory loss, ultimately paving the way for improved diagnostics and therapies to treat these disorders.
I began working in the Buffalo Lab in 2006 as a research technician at the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta, GA. As the lab grew I worked on a variety of different projects, including evaluating monkeys’ preference for viewing faces, designing a task of contextual learning and exploring cognitive impairments in early Parkinson’s Disease in both monkeys and humans. Over the years I have had the pleasure to work with an amazing number of talented scientists, including graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, fellow technicians, undergraduate volunteers and even a group of highly motivated high school students and teachers. I am thrilled to continue my research career as the Buffalo Lab manager at the University of Washington Primate Center in Seattle where my love for monkeys and scientific discovery continues to grow.
Currently I am recording the activity of neurons in the primate entorhinal cortex to discover how these neurons represent visual space. For example, I am looking into whether the neural representation of visual space shifts along with an image that has shifted its location on a screen. Answering this question about the frame of reference of these neurons is a basic first step in understanding how primate brain structures, first known for their role in memory, also map space.
My research investigates the hippocampal mechanisms that facilitate linking discontiguous events into a unitary sequence. I previously researched how cortical input shapes hippocampal activity through a combination of optogenetics, pharmacology and extracellular electrophysiology in the laboratory of Howard Eichenbaum at Boston University.
I am interested in studying memory from a systems neuroscience perspective. To do this, my current work is focused on simultaneous electrophysiological recordings from multiple brain areas in awake behaving monkeys. I am also working to understand how brain systems are affected by aging. An important component of this work is the search for biomarkers that may be translatable to human research and clinical practice. Before coming to the Buffalo lab, I researched memory in amnesic humans with bilateral hippocampal lesions in the laboratory of Larry Squire at University of California San Diego.
I am a cognitive neuroscientist, studying neural mechanisms for memory in humans. I investigate how sequences of events are encoded, maintained, and retrieved. In the Buffalo lab, I run translational research for comparing neural activity of human brains with non-human primates. I use intracranial-electroencephalography neuro-imaging techniques, computational modeling, and virtual reality experiments, in collaboration with UC Berkeley.
I am a senior graduate student in the Buffalo Lab. My research focuses on understanding the role of the hippocampus in relational memory. Specifically, I record neural activity in the hippocampus of monkeys during natural behavior such as the free viewing of complex images. I am particularly interested in the role eye movements have in organizing and modulating neural activity in the hippocampus and how this information could be useful for forming memories. Other research interests include computational modeling and data analysis.
My research examines how space and memory are represented in the monkey hippocampus, and the interplay between the two. I record populations of neurons from the hippocampus and adjacent structures of monkeys doing a variety of spatial memory tasks in virtual reality. I am co-mentored by Adrienne Fairhall, whose lab focuses on computational approaches to analyzing neural data. Before starting in the UW Neuroscience Program I received and B.S. in Applied Math (ACMS), also from UW. Funding for my work comes from the Washington Research Foundation (WRF) University of Washington institute for Neuroengineering (UWIN), an NIH institutional training grant in computational neuroscience, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP).
I graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Escuela de Ingeniería de Antioquia and Universidad CES in Medellín, Colombia. During my final year of college, following successful research internships at the Mayo Clinic and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, I decided to pursue a career in science. In 2011 I joined the Neurostatistics Research Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital as a research technician. At MGH, I worked on the development of novel source imaging algorithms for studying the neural dynamics underlying sleep and general anesthesia in human subjects. I joined UW's Graduate Program in Neuroscience almost five years later, and in Fall 2016 I became a member of the Buffalo and Ojemann labs. I am currently studying the neural substrate of declarative memory in human epilepsy patients through the combined use of intracranial electrophysiological recordings and remote eye tracking.
I graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience from Boston University in 2014. I spent most of my undergraduate years trying to understand the interplay between the medial entorhinal cortex and hippocampal “time” cells. After graduating, I went to the National Institute of Mental Health as a Post-Bacc student and worked on discerning the temporal structures necessary for auditory memory processing. I joined UW’s Graduate Program in Neuroscience in 2016, and after a successful rotation through the Buffalo lab I decided to stick around. My primary research interests revolve around figuring out if/how hippocampal ensembles remap or restructure in response to context-dependent experience changes. The goal is to elucidate these potential changes using a combination of large-scale neural recordings, virtual reality navigation tasks, and dimensionality reduction techniques to make sense of the data.
Since Graduating from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Psychology in 2009, I have worked in a number of positions at both the Primate Center and the Department of Comparative Medicine. My primary focus is animal behavior and training, and I particularly enjoy working with non-human primates in neuroscience. Prior to 2009 I worked as a Sign Language Interpreter specializing in medical and Deaf-Blind interpreting.
For a year before graduating from University of Washington with a BS in Neurobiology, I studied as a 499 student in the Buffalo Lab. I now spend my gap years before graduate school happily employed by the same, accumulating employable skills and wisps of sciencey wisdom oft as I can.
Charles Ian O'Leary
As a member of the Buffalo Lab I have primarily been involved in the relational memory project and our collaborative efforts with Pfizer. I am involved in data collection and analysis, as well as technical improvements we have made to our data processing and virtual reality computers. My interests are in the neurobiological and behavioral precursors to language, learning and memory, and nonhuman primate behavior.
In 2015, I started working in the Buffalo Lab as an undergraduate research assistant through the Computational Neuroscience Program, the University of Washington Institute for Neuroengineering (UWIN), and the Washington Research Foundation (WRF) Fellowship Program. Since graduating with a BS in Neurobiology, I have continued work in the lab as a Research Scientist & Engineer. Currently, my work focuses on understanding the physiological and behavioral effects of novel compounds developed by Pfizer and their effects in mediating the impact of senescence on memory.
Sean De Leon
I am a senior at Seattle University earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. In the future, I plan on pursuing a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience and continuing research in the magical realm of learning and memory. My research interests lie in the impairment of the hippocampus during neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, I divide my time between my undergraduate responsibilities as a teachers assistant for Statistics, president of SU’s chapter of Psi Chi, and my pursuit of an Art History minor. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and frequenting museums.
Sean de Leon graduated from Washington State University with two Bachelor of Science Degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology. He is planning to go to medical school to become a physician and research the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Outside the Laboratory, Sean tutors college sciences, anatomy and physiology, and psychology. He also enjoys exploring new places both here in Seattle and around the U.S. with his photography and listening to new kinds of music
Maria McKinley – Software developer and web designer at University of Washington
Sepeadeh Radpour -- Research Scientist at University of Washington
Dr. Drew Solyst – Graduate student at Emory University/University of Washington
Dr. Niklas Wilming – Visiting graduate student from the Department of Neurobiopsychology, Institute of Cognitive Science, University Osnabruck, Osnabruck, Germany
Dr. Nathan Killian – Graduate student at Emory University/GA Tech
Kiril Staikov – Research Specialist at Emory University
Laura Kakalios – Undergraduate volunteer/ research technician at Emory University
Dr. Sal Hemani – Undergraduate volunteer/ research technician at Emory University
Dr. Payal Kenia- Undergraduate volunteer/ research technician at Emory University
Varun Katdare – Undergraduate volunteer/ research technician at Emory University
Emily Stanley – Research Specialist at Emory University
And our many volunteers over the years:
Will, Natty, Akshay, Erica, Abdul, Ronit, Rebecca, Rachel, Bruce, Esther, Mateo, Christian, Harkirat, Akira, Molly, Celia
Errors or omissions are not intentional. If you are not listed correctly or wish to be added or removed from this list, please contact Megan mljutras (at) uw (dot) edu