September 11, 2013

Salk Scientist Tatyana Sharpee receives CAREER award from NSF

$453,000 in funds to support an advanced study of the neural architectures that enable object recognition

Salk News


Salk Scientist Tatyana Sharpee receives CAREER award from NSF

$453,000 in funds to support an advanced study of the neural architectures that enable object recognition

LA JOLLA, CA—Salk scientist Tatyana Sharpee has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund upcoming research in her lab. The CAREER award supports faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

An associate professor in the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, Sharpee will receive $453,000 over the next five years to fund her proposed study: “Characterizing feature selectivity and invariance in deep neural architectures.” In an effort to help elucidate the principles that make robust object recognition possible, she will explore how an organism’s neurons are able to demonstrate both “invariance,” which produces a similar response to the same object even when observed from different viewpoints, and “selectivity,” which requires different responses to potentially quite similar objects. The results of her study will help reveal the common principles of sensory processing in the brain and may ultimately lead to improved designs of artificial recognition systems, including sensory prostheses.

Sharpee received her Ph.D. in Physics at Michigan State University and was a Sloan-Swartz Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. In the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute, Sharpee and her team work on theoretical principles of how the brain processes information.


About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world’s preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

About the NSF:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year 2012, its budget was $7 billion. NSF funds reach all fifty states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions.

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