Meet Neuroscientist Marlene Behrmann

Marlene Behrmann, PhD, a world-famous neuroscientist has joined the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is also a Thomas S. Baker University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

“I am very excited to join the Department of Ophthalmology and to be part of this major initiative in vision science,” Dr. Behrmann said. “I have always had a dual interest in basic science and the more translational and clinical applications of the knowledge, and now I am able to focus on both aspects in parallel.”

Dr. Behrmann’s research is concerned with the psychological and neural bases of visual processing, specifically on the mechanisms by which the signals from the eye are transformed into meaningful percepts by the visual cortex. She adopts an interdisciplinary approach combining computational, neuropsychological, and functional brain imaging studies with normal and brain-damaged individuals. In the Department, Dr. Behrmann will apply her skills to studies of the visual system of the brain and the neuroprosthetics projects.

Dr. Behrmann is the recipient of many awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Engineering and Science and the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Behrmann, a unique trailblazer in visual and cognitive neuroscience,” said José-Alain Sahel, Department of Ophthalmology Chair. “Her insights and involvement in our research programs and the scope of her expertise and plans are truly transformative.”

Dr. Behrmann said she has much to learn from her new colleagues. “I am invigorated by the opportunity to start new projects and collaborate with others in the department and build a bridge between the eyes and the visual system of the brain,” she added.