Kwan Chun Hay Alex 關進晞

  • Fellowship in 2009 at University of California, Berkeley

Alex Kwan is an Associate Professor in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. He received a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Simon Fraser University and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University. As a Croucher Fellow, he worked with Yang Dan at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2013 - 2022, he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University.

The Kwan lab applies systems neuroscience and neuroengineering approaches to the study of mental health. Current effort in the lab is directed towards two topics: (1) Drug action in the brain: Psychiatric drugs exert powerful effects in humans characterized by altered perception, cognition, and mood. The lab studies the action of psychoactive drugs, including ketamine and serotonergic psychedelics such as psilocybin, on the function and connectivity of neurons in the frontal cortex. (2) Decision-making: Animals use past choice and reward history to guide their current decisions. We are interested in how neural circuits may implement reinforcement learning, and whether reward learning dysfunctions may be a useful metric to quantify neuropsychiatric conditions.