2018 Innovator Under 35: Adam Marblestone

Adam Marblestone, Kernel; Research Affiliate, MIT Media Lab

His work to make the brain machine-readable could help us understand and treat neurological diseases.

Adam Marblestone, Chief Strategy Officer, Kernel; Research Affiliate, MIT Media Lab

Adam Marblestone is chief strategy officer of Kernel and a part-time research affiliate with the Synthetic Neurobiology group at MIT. In his PhD as a Hertz Fellow in Biophysics at Harvard, with George Church and colleagues, he coauthored experimental and theoretical papers on molecular recording devices and road-mapped approaches for whole-brain mapping. Adam also participated in the development of new epigenomic readout technologies, genome engineering methods, nano-fabrication methods and nano-manipulation systems. More recently, he has coauthored papers analyzing the understanding of cortical computation, seeking strategies to integrate deep learning and neuroscience, and proposing new designs for neural interfaces. In his work with Ed Boyden at MIT, he helped to initiate the field of optical connectomics using the combination of expansion microscopy, in situ sequencing, and machine learning. At MIT, Adam was an investigator on an IARPA-funded project to map the neural connectome through in situ sequencing of RNA bar codes. Prior to his work in brain science, Adam studied quantum nonlocality, showing how quantum entanglement can exponentially enhance certain forms of distributed computation, and assisted in the early development of caDNAno, a graphical software tool for design of 3-D DNA origami nanostructures, now the standard for the field of structural DNA nanotechnology. Adam is also a cofounder of BioBright, a company aiming to create a “smart lab” to improve biological experimentation, and a scientific advisor to the Open Philanthropy Project and to OccamzRazor. He has co-taught courses at the MIT Media Lab on cognitive integration and how to invent and deploy transformative technologies.


Innovators Under 35
individuals whose superb technical work promises to shape the coming decades through the development of new technology or the creative application of existing technologies to solve problems.