Valentin Dragoi received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the Technical University of Iasi (Romania) in 1989, and his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1997. His thesis was focused on learning and adaptive behavior and on computational neuroscience. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Picower Center for Learning and Memory at MIT, Valentin investigated the neural circuits of cortical adaptation in behaving animals. From 2003-2023, he was the Levit Distinguished Professorship in Neuroscience at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School. In 2023 Dr. Dragoi accepted a dual position with Houston Methodist and Rice University. He is currently the Rosemary and Daniel J. Harrison III Presidential Distinguished Chair in Neuroprosthetics at Houston Methodist Research Institute and a core member of Rice University's Neuroengineering Initiative.
Dr. Dragoi examines how networks of cortical neurons encode information and how the population code influences behavioral decisions in real time. Research in his laboratory combines electrophysiological (multi-electrode recording in restrained and freely moving animals, optical and electrical stimulation), behavioral, and computational methods. He received rigorous training in experimental and theoretical neuroscience. His goals are to understand the neuronal computations and coding principles of cortical circuits and develop new technologies for high-yield neuronal recording of brain activity.
2003 Postdoctoral studies, MIT Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Picower Center for Learning and Memory
1997 Ph.D. Duke University Department of Experimental Psychology
1989 B.S. Computer Science, Technical University of Iasi (Romania)
Honors & Awards
2019 STAR Award , UT System
2015- Present NIH BRAIN Awards
2010 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
2009 NIH EUREKA Award
2005 James S. McDonnell Award
2004 Pew Scholars Award