Born in 1956 in the American Midwest, Christof Koch
grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco, where he graduated from the Lycèe Descartes in 1974. He studied Physics and Philosophy at the University of Tübingen in Germany and was awarded his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1982.
He spent four years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working on Artificial Intelligence at the Center for Biological Information Processing. Subsequently, Dr. Koch joined Caltech in 1986 as an Assistant professor in the Computation and Neural systems PhD program. He was a faculty member in both the divisions of Biology and Engineering and Applied Sciences.
He became a full professor in 1994 and was awarded the title of 'Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology'. He has been a regular visiting professor at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland.
As of April 2011, he is on a partial leave of absence from Caltech to be the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
Dr. Koch studies the biophysics of computation, and the neuronal basis of visual perception, attention, and consciousness. He has published extensively, and his writings and interests integrate theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscience. Stemming in part from a long-standing collaboration with the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, he authored the book The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. His research addresses scientific questions using a widely multidisciplinary approach.
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