Hertz Fellow Adam Marblestone Named To MIT Technology Review’s 2018 Innovators Under 35 List

June 27, 2017
Bennett McIntosh

Today, The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation,a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering America’s most brilliant minds in science, mathematics, and engineering, announced that Hertz Fellow Adam Marblestone has been named to MIT Technology Review’s prestigious annual list of Innovators Under 35 as a Visionary. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. Adam is one of over a dozen Hertz Fellow to be named to the list since its inception.

Adam is Chief Strategy Officer of Kernel, and a part-time research affiliate with the Synthetic Neurobiology group at MIT. As a Hertz Fellow, at Kernel, and at MIT, Adam has envisioned and launched the development of new tools to map neural connections and record their activity at vastly improved scale and resolution. These tools bring exciting new capabilities to efforts to map, understand, and interface with our brains.

In his PhD as a Hertz Fellow in Biophysics at Harvard, with George Church and colleagues, Adam co-authored experimental and theoretical papers on molecular recording devices and road-mapped approaches for whole-brain mapping.

More recently, Adam has co-authored papers analyzing our understanding of cortical computation, seeking strategies to integrate deep learning and neuroscience, and proposing new designs for neural interfaces. In his work with Hertz Fellow Ed Boyden at MIT, he helped to initiate the field of optical connectomics using the combination of expansion microscopy, in-situ sequencing, and machine learning. At MIT, he was an investigator on an IARPA-funded project to map the neural connectome through in-situ sequencing of RNA barcodes.

“The Hertz Fellowship gave me the freedom to pursue a non-traditional research focus, and to set up the collaborative network that underlies my work on scalable neural recording recognized by this award,” said Adam, “What’s more, the work itself contains input from many other Hertz fellows.”

Adam is also a co-founder of BioBright, a company aiming to create a “smart lab” to improve biological experimentation, and a scientific advisor to the Open Philanthropy Project and to OccamzRazor. He has co-taught courses at the MIT Media Lab on Revolutionary Ventures: How to Invent and Deploy Transformative Technologies, and Cognitive Integration.

“Adam’s trailblazing work combines innovations in physics, biophysics, and neuroscience to open new pathways in the effort to map and understand our brains,” said Robbee Baker Kosak, President, the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. “His bold thinking in academic and entrepreneurial research, often in collaboration with other Hertz Fellows, personifies the best of what the Hertz Community has to offer, and we are proud to celebrate his research vision.”

Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, said: “MIT Technology Review inherently focuses on technology first – the breakthroughs and their potential to disrupt our lives. Our annual Innovators Under 35 list is a chance for us to honor the outstanding people behind those technologies. We hope these profiles offer a glimpse into what the face of technology looks like today as well as in the future.”

Learn more about this year’s honorees on the MIT Technology Review website here and in the July/August print magazine, which will hit newsstands worldwide on July 3. The honorees are also invited to appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference, MIT Technology Review’s flagship event exploring future trends and technologies that will impact the global economy, happening September 11-14, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About the Hertz Foundation

Since 1963, the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has been providing PhD Fellowships to exceptionally talented individuals expected to have the greatest impact on the application of science, math and engineering to human problems. It is the legacy of John Hertz, a Hungarian immigrant who made his fortune by capitalizing on the entrepreneurship prospects in the budding automotive industry, and who strongly believed that innovative and entrepreneurial solutions were vital to the strength, security and prosperity of our nation. For more information on the Hertz Foundation and the cutting-edge innovations led by our Hertz Fellows please visit www.hertzfoundation.org.