Jai Yu joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in July 2020. His research aims to understand the neurophysiological mechanisms that enable the creation of knowledge from individual experiences. Specifically, how does coordinated activity of multiple brain regions across different time scales contribute to these processes? By recording neural spiking activity in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, his research has shown that coordinated activity patterns across brain regions can reflect distinct aspects of experience and memory. The next step is to determine how they are transformed into knowledge over time. His approach is to combine neural activity recording across multiple brain regions, ethologically inspired behavior tasks, genetic tools to manipulate neural circuit activity, and computational techniques for modelling large-scale neural data.
For his postdoctoral research with Loren Frank at the University of California San Francisco, he used in-vivo electrophysiology to investigate the relationship between coordinated hippocampal-cortical activity and memory. As a data scientist at a startup in the San Francisco Bay Area, he analyzed clinical and device data for the development of wearable bioelectronic neuromodulation therapies. He completed graduate research with Barry Dickson at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria, where he used genetic and imaging methods to map a neural circuit in the Drosophila brain. He received a BBiomedSc and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, Australia.