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Jacob Musser, PhD

Faculty Member

Center for Neurodevelopment and Plasticity

Email | Department | ORCID

Evolutionary origins of the nervous system

Research in the Musser Lab works to unravel the earliest evolutionary origins of our brain. Using high-throughput genomics, researchers in the lab trace the history and diversification of neurons and the machinery they use to communicate. This has led the lab deep into the ocean to investigate our most distant animal relatives, revealing the surprisingly ancient origins of our nervous system. From sponges and sea anemones to human cognition, the Musser Lab harnesses the power of modern genomics to tackle one of our biggest questions: how did our remarkable brain come to be?




Jacob Musser grew up in northern Michigan, spending his free time birdwatching and roaming the wilderness along the Lake Superior shoreline. He earned his BS from the University of Minnesota and PhD from Yale and conducted postdoctoral studies at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. In 2023, he established his lab at Yale University to investigate the origins of animal life and the deep evolutionary history of our nervous system. When not at the lab, Musser enjoys attending Yale's many inspiring music and theatrical performances.