Joseph Monaco, Ph.D.

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Scientific Program Manager, NIH BRAIN Initiative
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Joseph Monaco, Ph.D., is a Scientific Program Manager in the Office of the BRAIN Director, where he evaluates scientific impacts of data, theory, and computational tools to guide BRAIN Initiative strategies for research data. Before joining the NIH in 2023, Dr. Monaco conducted computational neuroscience research for over 20 years focused on theory-driven computational modeling of hippocampal circuits and their role in spatial navigation and lifelong memory formation. He completed his doctoral studies on models of place cells and grid cells to obtain his Ph.D. at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University.  

As a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Monaco developed statistical analyses linking movement to memory formation in rats, built models of how brains compute with neural oscillations, collaborated with experimental labs studying rats, flies, and monkeys, and helped lead an interdisciplinary collaboration to translate neuroscience theories into solutions for robotic control problems. Joe lives in Baltimore, where he spends his free time reading books about consciousness and trying to play Chopin.