The people that makes THE FUNDAMENTALS OF NEUROSCIENCE possible.

Prof. David Cox

Course Head

David Cox is an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and of Computer Science, and is a member of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University. His laboratory seeks to understand the computational underpinnings of visual processing through concerted efforts in both reverse- and forward-engineering. To this end, his group employs a wide range of experimental techniques (ranging from microelectrode recordings in living brains to visual psychophysics in humans) to probe natural systems, while at the same time actively developing practical computer vision systems based on what is learned about the brain.

Nadja Oertelt

HarvardX Fellow, Producer

Nadja Oertelt is a HarvardX Fellow and producer for MCB80x. She graduated from MIT in 2007 with a degree in Neuroscience has studied visual arts, film, anthropology and archaeology. She has worked as an independent documentary producer and director for the past decade.

Winston Yan

Content Development

Winston Yan graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in Physics and is currently a 3rd year student in the Harvard-MIT MD/PhD program. He has finished the first two years of medical school in the HST program and is about to start his PhD in the lab of Professor Feng Zhang at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT & Broad Institute. Winston will be working on developing and applying molecular and optical techniques to studying molecular and cellular changes in neural circuits during healthy behaviors, like learning and memory, and neuropsychiatric diseases.

Dr. Christian Schubert

Content Development

Christian is a native of Southern Germany and spent his youth in the Lake Constance region bordering Switzerland and Austria. He completed his undergraduate education in Munich, Zurich, and Oxford, and received his PhD in Biological Chemistry from MIT in 2009. As a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, Christian trained in Neurobiology and Developmental Neurogenetics. He is currently working on elucidating the underlying human biology of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorder. He's been the Head Teaching Fellow for the on-campus course MCB80 at Harvard since 2010.

Dr. Mohini Lutchman

Content Development

Mohini Lutchman is a Lecturer in Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School where she teaches Anatomy in the Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) and Harvard Science and Technology (HST) programs and Anatomy, Physiology and Neurobiology in the New Pathway Program Anatomy at Harvard Medical School. She obtained a PhD in Neuroscience (Neurogenetics) from McGill University, Canada and completed her postdoctoral research training in cancer biology and her research has focused on cancer cell biology. Currently, she is involved in more translational research involving analysis of OFDI imaging data derived from a clinical trial at MGH. She is interested in the use of innovative education technologies for basic and medical sciences and has gained important insight from teaching online courses for MGHIHP and working with the MCB80x team.

Dr. Jennifer DeBoer

Educational Researcher

Jennifer DeBoer is currently Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses on international education systems, technology use and STEM learning, and educational environments for diverse learners. Most recently, this has meant investigating the different ways in which students engage with MOOCS online and in person, and she is interested in better understanding how online and blended learning spaces can support individual learners. She recently finished her postdoc at MIT’s Teaching and Learning Laboratory. Check out their website for her presentations and publications on national differences within MOOC classrooms, ways to (re)conceptualize MOOC learning spaces, and the role of individual student background.

Alex Auriema


Alex Auriema is the Chief Videographer at HarvardX and filmmaker based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His work has shown and screened at the Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst - Berlin, Scope Art Fair - Basel, and Harvard Film Archive - Cambridge. He holds a masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Jennifer Kelley


Jennifer Kelley is a Boston based documentary filmmaker and editor. She received her undergraduate degree in Film and Television from Boston University and is currently an MFA student in the Media Art program at Emerson College. Her films examine matters related to human rights, social justice, gender equality and environmental responsibility.

Beth Balaban

Producer, Videographer, and Editor (Module 2)

Beth Balaban is an independent video Producer and Editor in the Boston area. In addition to her work at HarvardX as a Producer for MCB80x, she is currently Co-Directing/Producing the feature documentary SON OF SAICHI in Fukushima, Japan. Beth is Co-Founder and Chair of the New England film collaborative The Non-Fiction Cartel. Previously, she worked with the Boston-based production team at Principle Pictures as a Producer, Editor and Director of Photography on several feature documentaries and an array of branded content for corporate/non-profit clients.

Oswald Skillbard

Sound Editor + Composer

Oswald Skillbard has been a composer and sound designer for five years. From his own studio in East London Skillbard has created bespoke scores and sounds for a range of media, most notably short films and animations. He also created the music for the MCB80x course.

Dr. Ian Slaymaker

3D Molecular Modeller (Module 2)

Ian got his PhD at the University of Southern California with Dr. Xiaojiang Chen studying molecular machines biochemically and solving their 3D structure. He is currently doing his postdoc at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

Dr. Matteo Farinella


Matteo Farinella is a cartoonist and illustrator, author of Neurocomic (Nobrow press). Matteo received a PhD in neuroscience from University College London in 2013 and he now works at the intersection between science and art, producing info-comics and scientific illustrations. He is also very passionate about education and he collaborates with several universities and scientific institution aimed to make research more fun and accessible.

Amanda Montanez

Medical Illustrator

Amanda Montañez is a Boston-area native and former Harvard employee. She has a lifelong passion for drawing and received her BA in Studio Art from Smith College in 2006. Her professional background includes non-profit and university administration, as well as freelance medical and scientific illustration. She is currently earning her Master’s degree in Biomedical Communications at the University of Toronto (to be completed in July 2014). For her thesis project, she is developing a series of educational tools for pregnant women in midwifery care. Amanda is interested in the effectiveness of visual communication in learning and hopes to explore this further in her future professional pursuits.

Daniela Sherer


Daniela Sherer is an indie animator and illustrator. In 2013 she graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with a master's in Animation. She's a 2009 graduate of USC, LA. Daniela has worked on projects ranging from music videos and short films, to animated sequences for features and animation for the stage. Her animated films have won awards and have been exhibited in festivals worldwide.

Lily Fang


After studying animation and painting at Harvard College, Lily Fang moved to London to attend the Royal College of Art, where she embraced the art of stop frame puppet animation. She currently works as an animator in New York.

Grace Helmer


Grace Helmer is an illustrator based in London, UK. She graduated with a degree in Illustration from Camberwell College of Arts, London in 2012. She currently works as a freelance illustrator and is a member of Day Job Studio (

Tim Divall


Tim Divall is a 2d animator based in London. Since Graduating with an MA in animation from the RCA in 2013 and a BA in animation at University of Westminster in 2008 he has been lucky enough to work on a wide range of projects from creating short animated films to collaborating on music videos and commercials.

Ofra Kobliner


Ofra Kobliner is an animator and illustrator based in Jerusalem. She graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2010 with a degree in Animation. Her graduation film, In a Clear Mind, won the first prize at the ASIFA student film competition at the Comics and Animation Festival in Tel Aviv. It has been shown in film festivals worldwide, including the Hiroshima and Ottawa (OIAF). Since graduation, Ofra has been working as an independent illustrator and animator. She has illustrated numerous children’s books, and is currently working on and animated film production in collaboration with American novelist, Jonathan Safran Foer and Isreali writer Etgar Keret.

Dr. Greg Gage

DIY Neuroscientist + Educator

Greg is a DIY neuroscientist and co-founder of Backyard Brains. He and his labmate Tim Marzullo started the organization because people only really learned about neuroscience in grad school, even though 25\% of the world had brain disorders with no cures. Neuroscience should be taught from K12 onwards! His goal is to develop tools and experiments to teach advanced neuroscience from middle school on up. Understanding the brain remains a great challenge, both to professional neuroscientists and the general public alike. Greg want to increase the public’s understanding of neuroscience, create a community of amateur neuroscientists, and usher in the next generation of neuroscientists.

Kelsey Lucas

Course Developer (Module 3)

Kelsey Lucas is a science-communications aficionado and ComSciCon National Leadership Workshop alum who strives to break the walls of the Ivory Tower. Her recent projects have included educational content development and training for Boston-area high school teachers, as well as training docents, developing hands-on activities, and engaging visitors at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Currently a third-year PhD student at Harvard University, Kelsey studies the physics and physiology of movement in marine animals, including the electrical signals produced by muscles and nerves that enable locomotion.

Isobel Green

Course Developer (Module 3)

Isobel Green is a member of the Harvard College class of 2017. A cognitive neuroscience concentrator, she is fascinated by all things brain and aims to pursue an MD-PhD track in neuroscience after graduation. Isobel is currently a member of the Laboratory for Affective and Translational Neuroscience at McLean Hospital, which aims to investigate the neurobiological substrate of mood disorders.

Katie Schmalkuche

Course Developer (Module 3)

Katie is a senior at Harvard studying Neurobiology. She took the on-campus MCB80 course her sophomore year, and has tutored students in that course since then. She's passionate education access and science communication, and enjoys spending her time working with kids and teens in Boston through the Mission Hill Afterschool Program.

Javier Masis

Course Developer (Module 3)

Javier Masis is currently a third year PhD student at Harvard in Professor David Cox's lab studying high-level vision. Javier holds a B.A. in molecular biology and neuroscience from Princeton University. In addition to science, Javier loves the arts, particularly music. His band Burne Holiday plays regularly in New York City and Boston.

Jonah Elgart

Interactive Designer (Module 3)

Jonah Elgart's interest in movement and creation have guided him on a broad journey of learning. Jonah graduated from MIT in 2001 with a degree in Ocean Engineering and a concentration in Animation. He is interested in UI/UX design with intuitive affordances to make learning natural and exploratory. Professionally, he has designed, animated, illustrated, and programmed educational software, and previously, he designed medical devices. On the side, he rides a unicycle, builds bicycles, makes art, and goes outside to get away from it all.

Brian Smee

Animator (Module 3)

Brian lives and works in the sunny Santa Clarita Valley. He was born in Phoenix in 1990 under the Sheliak star and is currently studying animation at the California Institute of the Arts.

Caitlin Craggs

Animator (Module 3)

A child of the Pacific Northwest, Caitlin Craggs is currently an LA based designer and animator. An interest in narrative and media propels her work - she is curious about the place between words and meaning, journalism and surrealism, self and other. As an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, she was the recipient of a Princess Grace Award. She has since directed animation for documentary film and music videos, and currently is an MFA candidate at the California Institute of the Arts.

Andrew Benincasa

Animator (Module 3)

Andrew is a paper-cut artist. He makes light boxes, paper-cut panels, shadow puppet shows, animations, and illustrations at his studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Sophie Koko Gate

Animator (Module 3)

Sophie Koko Gate is an animation director and illustrator based in London and represented by Beakus. She's a graduate from the Royal College of Art and Central St Martins. Her shorts have screened internationally at festivals including SXSW, London BFI Festival and Slamdance. She can also moonwalk.

Lara Lee

Animator (Module 3)

Originally from South Korea, Lara Lee is an animator and illustrator based in Brighton, UK. She graduated from Royal college of Art in London with an MA in animation, after studying visual communication design from Kookmin University in Seoul. She currently works as a freelance artist. Her practice spans a variety of projects from short films, music videos to independent art projects.

Hannah Jacobs

Animator (Module 3)

Hannah Jacobs is an animator and illustrator from London. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Art in animation and likes to work with hand made elements - pencil, paint, paper - to create a glimpse into other worlds and landscapes. She's worked on a variety of projects ranging from short animated films to commercials and music videos. She is always on the look out for exciting new collaborative projects.

Kevin Belli

Videographer (Module 3)

Kevin Belli is a Boston-based nonfiction filmmaker. He was the director of photography and editor for THE LIST, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. Previous credits include co-director of photography and editor for the Sundance Channel's award-winning BEYOND BELIEF and co-editor and director of photography for the film DIVIDING LINES. Most recently, Kevin was the director of photography in Iraq and Nigeria for the James Demo feature-length documentary, THE PEACEMAKER which is funded in part by the Sundance Institute.