Rafael Yuste is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University and directs its Neurotechnology Center. He led a small group of scientists that inspired the US BRAIN Initiative, announced by President Barack Obama in 2013, and helped form the International Brain Initiative (IBI) in 2017. He also co-led the Morningside Group, a global consortium of interdisciplinary experts advocating for the ethical use of neurotechnology and artificial intelligence. Additionally, Rafael Yuste is a Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University, and is a visiting researcher at the Donostia International Physics Center in San Sebastian, Spain.
Rafael Yuste was born and educated in Madrid, where he obtained his MD at the Universidad Autónoma in the Fundación Jimenez Diaz Hospital. After a brief research period in Sydney Brenner's group at the LMB in Cambridge, UK, he performed PhD studies with Larry Katz in Torsten Wiesel’s laboratory at Rockefeller University in New York. He then moved to Bell Labs, where he was a postdoctoral student of David Tank and Winfried Denk.
In 2018, he was awarded the Eliasson Global Leadership Prize by the Tällberg Foundation for his seminal work in inspiring the US and International BRAIN initiatives and for his efforts toward building ethical guidelines for neurotechnology and artificial intelligence.