Institute News Spring 2018 Issue 44

Ed Boyden Named Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology

Y. Eva Tan (left) and McGovern Investigator Ed Boyden (right). Photos: Justin Knight
Y. Eva Tan (left) and McGovern Investigator Ed Boyden (right). Photos: Justin Knight

McGovern Investigator Ed Boyden has been named the inaugural Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology. The new professorship has been established at the McGovern Institute by K. Lisa Yang in honor of her daughter Y. Eva Tan.

“We are thrilled Lisa has made a generous investment in neurotechnology and the McGovern Institute by creating this new chair,” says Bob Desimone, director of the McGovern Institute. “Ed’s body of work has already transformed neuroscience and biomedicine, and this chair will help his team to further develop revolutionary tools that will have a profound impact on research worldwide.”

In 2017, Yang co-founded the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research at the McGovern Institute. The Center catalyzes interdisciplinary and cutting-edge research into the genetic, biological, and brain bases of autism spectrum disorders.

“I am excited to further expand the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research and to support Ed and his team’s critical work,” Yang says. “Novel technology is the driving force behind much-needed breakthroughs in brain research— not just for individuals with autism, but for those living with all brain disorders. My daughter Eva and I are greatly pleased to recognize Ed’s talent and to contribute towards his future successes.”

Ed Boyden Named Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology Yang’s daughter Eva Tan agrees. “I’m so pleased this professorship will have a significant and lasting impact on MIT’s pioneering work in neurotechnology. My family and I have always believed that advances in technology are what make all scientific progress possible, and I’m overjoyed that we can help enable amazing discoveries in the Boyden Lab through Ed’s appointment to this chair,” Tan said.

Boyden has pioneered the development of many transformative technologies that image, record and manipulate complex systems, including optogenetics, expansion microscopy and robotic patch clamping. He has received numerous awards for this work, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2016), the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2015), the
Carnegie Prize in Mind and Body Sciences (2015), the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Prize (2013), and the Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize (2011). Boyden is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.

“I deeply appreciate the honor that comes with being named the first Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology. This is a tremendous recognition of not only my team’s work, but the groundbreaking impact of the neurotechnology field,” said Boyden.

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