Dr. Lipton earned his PhD in Neuroscience at Stanford. During his PhD, he studied how the connections between neurons, called synapses, form during development. More specifically, he studied how transport of cellular materials is orchestrated to build growing synapses.
Also during his PhD, Dr. Lipton co-founded and co-led “NeuWriteWest,” a group of neuroscience grad students and post-docs who communicate neuroscience to lay audiences.
At the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at Hebrew U, Dr. Lipton will study the neural circuitry of reward and habit formation. He is interested in how the brain produces the sensation of reward, or what we may call pleasure or joy, and how this sensation leads to the reinforcement of particular behaviours. His work will focus on how neural circuits in a brain region called the striatum are arranged and how they function during the learning of rewarded behaviors, as striatal circuits are known to play a central role in reward and habit learning, with dysfunction of these circuits resulting in addiction.
On a meta-level, Dr. Lipton is most inspired by how advances in neuroscience can help us understand complex human behaviour that was previously only studied by social sciences and the humanities.