Adam Marblestone, PhD

2010 Hertz Fellow
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Adam Marblestone is research scientist at Google DeepMind.

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. He also participated in the development of new epigenomic readout technologies, genome engineering methods, nano-fabrication methods and nano-manipulation systems. More recently, he 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 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.

Prior to his work in brain science, Adam studied quantum nonlocality, showing how quantum entanglement can exponentially enhance certain forms of distributed computation, and assisted in the early development of caDNAno, a graphical software tool for design of 3D DNA origami nanostructures, now the standard for the field of structural DNA nanotechnology.

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.

“The Hertz Fellowship provides the freedom to innovate. To me, that means the responsibility to propose bold ideas, pursue what is most impactful, and collaborate unrestrictedly across fields and institutions to build integrated teams that can solve entire problems.”
– Adam Marblestone

Graduate Studies

Harvard University
Designing scalable biological interfaces

Undergraduate Studies

Harvard University


2018, TR35, MIT Technology Review; 2008, Goldwater Scholar, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program

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Jun 27, 2017
Hertz Fellow Adam Marblestone has been named to MIT Technology Review’s prestigious annual list of Innovators Under 35 as a Visionary.
Jun 30, 2016
To adequately understand how the brain works requires widespread mapping of neural activity, posing an immense challenge to neuroscience. However, a team of researchers, led by Hertz Fellows and MIT Media Lab members Sam Rodriques and Adam Marblestone, think they may have discovered a solution--using light to detect neural activity through optical fibers threaded deep into the brain.