Department of Medicine
Anderson-David is the Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his A.B. from Harvard University (Biochemical Sciences, Summa Cum Laude), his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the Rockefeller University, where he trained with Nobel Laureate Guenter Blobel, and his postdoctoral training at Columbia University with Nobel Laureate Richard Axel. For the first 20 years of his career, Dr. Anderson's research focused on the biology of neural stem cells and their role in brain development; he was the first to isolate a multipotential neural stem cell from the mammalian nervous system. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Anderson has switched his research focus to the study of neural circuits that control emotional behaviors in animal models. He has been at the forefront of developing and applying new technologies for neural circuit manipulation, such as optogenetics and pharmacogenetics, to the study of emotional behaviors such as fear, anxiety and aggression, in both mice and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. His work in mice is currently focused on limbic circuits, including the amygdala and hypothalamus, and their role in aggression. Anderson has trained over 50 postdoctoral fellows and Ph.D. students in his 30 years on the faculty at Caltech. He has been a recipient of continuous research support from the NIH since 1986, and an HHMI Investigator since 1989. He has received additional funding from agencies and foundations such as NARSAD, the Pew Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation. Dr. Anderson's awards include an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, Searle Scholars Award, the Charles Judson Herrick Award in Comparative Neurology and the Alden Spencer Award in Neurobiology from Columbia University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2007 was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.