Christof Koch, PhD

Biophysics and Author

Born in the American Midwest, Christof Koch grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco. He studied Physics and Philosophy at the University of Tübingen in Germany and was awarded his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1982. After 4 years at MIT, he joined the California Institute of Technology as a Professor in Biology and Engineering where he remained as a Professor until 2013. His research area is the biophysics of nerve cells, and the neuronal and computational basis of visual perception, attention, and consciousness. In 2011, he became the Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, where he leads a ten year, large-scale, high through-put effort to build brain observatories to map, analyze and understand the cerebral cortex. He loves dogs, climbing, biking and long-distance running.

Christof has authored more than 300 scientific papers and articles, eight patents and five books. Together with his long-time collaborator, Francis Crick, Christof pioneered the scientific study of consciousness. His latest book is Consciousness – Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist deals with the philosophical, religious, scientific, technological and personal questions relating to his research.