Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
Sandeep Robert Datta obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics from Yale University in 1993, and obtained an M.D./Ph.D degree from Harvard University in 2004. After working as a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University with the Nobel laureate Richard Axel, he joined the Harvard Medical School Department of Neurobiology in 2009. His lab focuses on understanding how sensory cues — particularly odors — are detected by the nervous system, and how the brain transforms information about the presence of salient sensory cues into patterns of motivated action. This work involves studying genes involved in detecting odors, revealing the patterns of neural activity deep in the brain that encode sensory maps of the outside world, and probing the fundamental statistical structure of behavior itself. This work has led to discoveries with direct relevance to a number of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Datta has published numerous articles on his research in journals including Cell, Science and Nature, is a reviewer and an editor at multiple scientific journals, is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute, and is a Principal Investigator in the Italian Institute of Technology/Harvard Medical School joint program in the neurosciences. Dr. Datta has received the prestigious NIH New Innovator Award, the Burroughs Welcome Career Award in the Medical Sciences, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Searle Scholars Award, the Vallee Young Investigator Award, the McKnight Endowment Fund Scholar Award and has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Science/Kavli Scholars program.