Viviana Gradinaru is a scientific co-founder of Capsida, Professor of Neuroscience and Biological Engineering, and Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at the Chen Institute for Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Combining neuroscience, protein engineering, and data science, her laboratory has produced microbial opsins that are tolerated by mammalian cells and viral capsids capable of crossing the blood-–brain barrier in adult mammals, which could enable high-precision, minimally-invasive repair of diseased nervous systems. Dr. Gradinaru has more than 80 publications in top peer-reviewed journals and more than 10 granted patents, additional pending, in areas of optogenetics, viral vectors and tissue clearing and imaging. Dr. Gradinaru has received, amongst many honors, the NIH Director’s Innovator and Pioneer Awards, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and outstanding young investigator awards from both the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and the Society for Neuroscience. She has also been honored as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist.
Dr. Gradinaru holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.S. from Caltech.