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Steven Schiff, PhD

Faculty Member

Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence | Center for Neurodevelopment and Plasticity

Email | Department | ORCID | GitHub

Characterizing brain function in health and disease

Steven Schiff has broad interests in neural control engineering, the physics of neuronal networks, and sustainable health engineering. In computational neuroscience, he achieved the first unification of spikes, seizures, and spreading depression. Motivated by his clinical work as an epilepsy surgeon, he developed innovative methods of electrical control of seizures and spreading depression in the brain and wrote the first book on Neural Control Engineering (MIT Press, 2012). Applying machine learning to brain image analysis, Schiff has characterized average childhood brain growth and is using these normative trajectories in clinical trials to study comparative brain growth in response to surgical interventions for infant hydrocephalus. Further engineering efforts are constructing sustainable MRI technology and pursuing innovative AI strategies to observe and model brain dynamics in real time. These fundamental engineering principles of observability and controllability are the foundations underpinning Yale's building of a Global Neurosurgery program.




Steve Schiff is the Kate and Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery, Vice Chair for Global Health in the Department of Neurosurgery, and Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale. He came to Yale in 2022 after founding and directing the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering. He holds an SB from MIT, an MD and PhD (Physiology) from Duke, and trained in adult and pediatric neurosurgery at Duke and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to Fellowship status in medical societies, Schiff is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and received the NIH Director’s Pioneer and Transformative Awards in 2015 and 2018, respectively, enabling him to pursue his interests in applying engineering principles to the control of infant brain disease in the developing world. He considers perhaps his most cherished honor to have been given an African name and clan.

Research Contributions

Brain imaging with portable low-field MRI

Nature Reviews Bioengineering (2023)