Chris Schaffer, PhD
Chris B. Schaffer is an associate professor in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering and the associate dean of faculty at Cornell University. Chris grew up in Jacksonville, FL and was an undergraduate at the University of Florida, where he studied physics. He received his PhD from Harvard University, also in physics, where he worked with Eric Mazur. He was then a post-doc in David Kleinfeld’s neuroscience laboratory at the University of California, San Diego. He now runs a lab at Cornell that develops advanced optical techniques that enable quantitative imaging and targeted manipulation of individual cells in the central nervous system of rodents, with the goal of constructing a microscopic-scale understanding of normal and disease-state physiological processes in the brain. One area of current focus is understanding the role of brain blood flow disruptions in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Chris is also active in developing novel educational strategies to teach science as a dynamic process for discovery, strategies that are used in outreach settings in middle and high-school science classes as well as in college-level courses. Chris also has a strong interest in science policy and spent a year in Washington, DC as a science policy fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. He continues to be active in policy, including through a science policy course he teaches. Chris is an accomplished surfer, having ridden waves all over the world and surfed some “big wave” spots, including greater than 20 ft. waves at Todos Santos, Mexico.