B.S. Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, 2008
Ph.D. Neuroscience, Harvard University, 2014


Ian is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Neuroscience and Cell Biology and the Dept. of Neurosurgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a resident faculty member at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine. He completed his Ph.D. in neuroscience at Harvard University under the supervision of Bernardo Sabatini, there he investigated the interactions between the basal ganglia and motor cortex. As a postdoctoral fellow in Hillel Adesnik’s lab at the University of California Berkeley he developed new multiphoton holographic optogenetic approaches and used them to dissect the interactions between neurons in sensory cortex.

In general, Ian is interested in understanding how neurons interact with each other to give rise to behaviors. However, these interactions can be diverse, depending heavily on context, and on the specifics of which neurons are firing when. In many cases, the first step to answer these questions is to build new tools that allow ever more precise manipulations.

Research Focus

Understanding neural circuits and neural codes that lead to motor actions using multiphoton optogenetics and other advanced optical techniques

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, RWJMS

Assistant Professor Neurological Surgery, RWJMS

Founder and Board Member of Sculpted Light in the Brain Association

Mardinly A, Oldenburg I, Pégard N, et al. Precise multimodal optical control of neural ensemble activity. Nature neuroscience. 2018;21(6):881-893. doi:10.1038/s41593-018-0139-8.
Brown J, Oldenburg I, Telian G, et al. Spatial integration during active tactile sensation drives orientation perception. Neuron. 2021;109(10):1707-1720.e7. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2021.03.020.
Bounds HA, Sadahiro M, Hendricks WD, et al. Multifunctional Cre-dependent transgenic mice for high-precision all-optical interrogation of neural circuits. bioRxiv. 2021. doi:10.1101/2021.10.05.463223.