On November 15th Dr. Sebastian Haesler officially joined NERF as a new Group Leader. Dr. Haesler completed his doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Constance Scharff, then at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany. He studied the molecular basis of vocal learning and speech in the songbird model system. Before joining NERF, Dr. Haesler was a postdoctoral fellow with Naoshige Uchida at Harvard University, where he investigated the neural mechanisms of reward learning. Dr. Haesler brings valuable experience in combining multi-electrode electrophysiology and optogenetics in awake behaving mice to NERF. He will use these techniques to study how novel stimuli are represented in and detected by brain circuits.