Aaron Kuan is a postdoctoral fellow in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School, working in the lab of Prof. Wei-Chung Lee. His research is focused on understanding how cirucit connectivity underlies neuronal activity and behavior in mammalian association cortex, utiliizing a combination of virtual reality behavior, functional imaging, and serial section electron microscopy. To enable the mapping of neural circuits at high resolution over large fields of view, he has worked on the development of novel imaging techniques based on high-throughput serial section transmission electron microscopy and phase-contrast X-ray tomography. Other research interests include whole-brain functional imaging in zebrafish and the connectomics of motor circuits in Drosophila.
Aaron recieved his PhD in applied physics, from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His thesis research characterized nanopores in suspended graphene membranes, which have promising applications in single molecule DNA sequencing and water filtration. In 2013, he was selected by a cross-disciplinary faculty panel as one of eight students comprising the inaugural class for Harvard Horizons, an initiative to recognize the ideas and innovations of PhD students at Harvard, and to support their acquisition of essential communication and professional skills. He was supported by a Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Fellowship.
In addition to his research, Aaron is an active violinist and conductor, serving as the Music Director for the Dudley House Orchestra, affiliated with the Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences, and associate concertmaster of the Mercury Orchestra in Cambridge. Prior to beginning his doctorate, he received a Masters degree in Violin Performance from New England Conservatory as a member of the inaugural class of five students in the Harvard/New England Conservatory Joint Program.
Aaron attended Harvard College for his undergraduate studies, majoring in Physics with a minor in music. In summer 2007, he travelled to Cambridge University to pursue research on violin acoustics on a Herschel Smith Fellowship.