William Stauffer, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an expert in the neurophysiology of reward learning and decision making. Dr. Stauffer developed techniques to enable cell-type specific expression of optogenetic activators in nonhuman primates and used these to show that dopamine neuron activations drive value-based learning. The Stauffer lab is dedicated to understanding cell-type specific computations that enable deliberation, inference, and reasoning. A major part of this effort includes elucidating cell types in the cognitive and reward centers of primate brain and developing cell type-specific tools for circuit-based investigations
Dr. Stauffer earned BS and PhD degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Dr. Wolfram Schultz. He won the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2016.