Gabrielle Gutierrez

December 18, 2023

Official Story

Dr. Gabrielle Gutierrez is a computational and theoretical neuroscientist who has worked on a range of scientific questions. From investigating how the retina encodes compressed visual information to exploring how spike-frequency adaptation makes a population code more efficient, Dr. Gutierrez’s work aims to understand how the properties of individual neurons interact with their connectivity within a neural circuit to produce the computations that drive sensory and motor processing. Dr. Gutierrez’s academic journey began at the selective womens school, Barnard College, where she majored in Physics and minored in Applied Mathematics. She pursued a PhD in Neuroscience at Brandeis University under the mentorship of Dr. Eve Marder. Currently, Dr. Gutierrez is an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience and Behavior Department at the place where it all started - Barnard College. In addition to designing and teaching courses that introduce the next generation of women scientists to the field of computational neuroscience, she has an active, NIH-funded research program. Beyond academia, Dr. Gutierrez is committed to scientific outreach and service to promote diversity and inclusion within her field.

Unofficial Story

Gabrielle started out feeling pretty sure that she was going to be an actress or a dancer. She didn’t really stop to think about a career in STEM even though she was often the top student in her math and science classes, and she really enjoyed those subjects. Even college didn’t seem like an inevitability. Thankfully, with the guidance of some great mentors, Gabrielle found her way to majoring in physics in college. One fateful afternoon, she saw a public lecture that introduced her to the budding field of computational and theoretical neuroscience. She went to grad school for neuroscience, learned how to be an electrophysiologist, and later came back around to the thing that drew her in initially - computational neuroscience. By then, her quantitative skills had atrophied somewhat and she wasn’t sure what kind of a researcher she was or whether she was even cut out for theory. After exploring lots of different things during multiple postdocs, she finally embraced her theorist identity and found her true calling as an assistant professor at an undergraduate institution.