• PL 56 (Viikinkaari 5)




Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae


Name (Last, First): Totah, Nelson K.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0998-9770

Year of birth: 1982                                                   

Nationality: American


2012 - PhD in Neuroscience (Diploma – April 2012), University of Pittsburgh, Advisor: Prof. Bita Moghaddam

2004 - Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Emory University


from 06.2019 - Assistant Professor of Neurophysiology and Pharmacology, Helsinki Institute of Life Science and Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, Finland

from 1997 - Founder and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Science National Honor Society, USA


09.2017 – 06.2020 - Research Group Leader, Department of Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany

06.2012 – 09.2017 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany

2003 – 2006 - Director, Institute of Neuroscience, USA (an 8-week education program for students)


2001 – 2011 - Disaster and counter-terrorism medic, United States Department of Health and Human Services, USA (Provided medical care in austere environments during and after natural disasters and acts of terrorism.)


2020 – 2025 - Academy of Finland Research Fellow

2020 - Fulbright Finland Travel Grant for Research Collaboration to support ties between Finland and the US and support a collaborative research project between my laboratory in Helsinki and a collaborator’s laboratory at Rice University (Houston, Texas).

2020 – 2022 - Sigrid Jusélius Foundation Grant.

2013 – 2015 - Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship from European Comission.


2018 - EMBO Research Laboratory Leadership Course for Group Leaders

2017 - Travel Award, Neuromodulation of Neural Microcircuits conference

2016 - Top Poster Award, The Brain Conferences: New Insights into Psychiatric Disorders through Computational, Biological, and Developmental Approaches

2014 - Invited Participant, 64th Annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

2014 - FENS / IBRO Travel Award, FENS Forum 2014

2013 - Humboldt Research Fellowship (declined and accepted other funding)

2011 - Research Fellowship, German Research Foundation Cluster of Excellence - Cell Networks at University of Heidelberg (declined and accepted other funding)

2010 - Travel Award, Riken Brain Sciences Institute Summer Program

2010 - PhD Research Fellowship, Andrew Mellon Foundation

2007 - Travel Award, Gordon Research Conference on Catecholamines

2005 - PhD Research Fellowship, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition

2004 - Travel Award, States United for Biomedical Research Conference on Laboratory Animal Welfare

2004 - Howard Swearer Humanitarian Award National Finalist (1 of 12 people in USA)

2003 - Brainstem Program Undergraduate Research Fellowship, University of St. Andrews


2020 - Seminar, Neural probes techniques webinar series, Cambridge Neurotech

2019 - Seminar, Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University

2019 - Symposium Chair, “Redefining neuromodulation of behavior: impact of a modular locus coeruleus architecture”, Society for Neuroscience Meeting

2019 - Seminar, “Plasticity (from molecules to behavior)” Conference, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology and Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences

2019 - Seminar, KU Leuven

2019 - Seminar, University of Heidelberg, German Research Foundation Collaborative Research Centre on Functional Ensembles (SFB 1134)

2019 - Seminar, Center for Molecular Neurobiology

2019 - Seminar, Helsinki Institute of Life Science

2019 - Seminar, Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences Strasbourg

2019 - Seminar, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience

2019 - Seminar, University of Florida Gainesville, Department of Psychology

2019 - Seminar, Animal Ethics Workshop, Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tuebingen

2018 - Seminar, Champaulimaud Center for the Unknown

2018 - Seminar, Department of Neurobiology, University of Tuebingen

2018 - Seminar, Wellcome Trust Neural Dynamics Program, University of Bristol

2017 - Flash Talk, Neuromodulation of Neural Microcircuits Conference

2017 - Seminar, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Italian Institute of Technology


2015 - Examiner, Vilnius University, Lithuania

2019 - Examiner, Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Italy


2018 – 2019 - Chairperson of PI Committee on Institutional Infrastructure and Organization, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics

2012 – 2018 - Elected Ombudsperson responsible for mediating employee conflict, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics


from 2012 - Article peer-review, Cerebral Cortex

from 2013 - Article peer-review, Journal of Neurophysiology

from 2014 - Article peer-review, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

from 2018 - Article peer-review, Neural Plasticity

from 2018 - Article peer-review, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

from 2019 - Article peer-review, European Journal of Neuroscience

from 2020 - Article peer-review, Current Biology

from 2019 - Grant review, Agence nationale de la recherche (France)

from 2019 - Grant review, Human Frontier Science Program

from 2020 - Grant review, Israel Science Foundation

from 2020 - Article peer-review, Biological Psychiatry

from 2020 - Article peer-review, eNeuro


from 2020 - Masters Program in Neuroscience, NEU-101 Methods and Trends in Neuroscience

from 2020 - Doctoral Program in Drug Research, Stereotaxical Methods in Brain Research

from 2020 - Doctoral Program in Neuroscience (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden), Brain Circuits

Fields of Science

  • 3112 Neurosciences

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.