Michael Smirnov

Neural Data Scientist
Yasuda Lab
Michael Smirnov, Ph.D., develops computational approaches for neuroscience data collection, sharing, and analysis.


Dr. Michael Smirnov is a neural data scientist and research associate professor at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Through collaborations with MPFI Scientists, he utilizes machine learning to develop software which aids in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of multimodal neuroscientific data.

Originally trained as a neuroscientist, Dr. Smirnov completed his graduate study under the mentorship of Drs. Jeff Urbach and Herb Geller at Georgetown University and the National Institutes of Health. He joined MPFI as a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Ryohei Yasuda where he worked on automating the study of dendritic spine volume as a marker for memory formation in the hippocampus. In particular, he significantly increased experiment efficiency by developing automated image acquisition and photoactivation software for custom, two-photon microscopes. In order to better analyze imaging data, he then adapted computer vision algorithms to automatically identify dendritic spines in fluorescent tissue. In September 2018 he was selected to run MPFI’s one-of-a-kind data science program in collaboration with FAU. The program gives FAU high school students hands-on experience working with cutting-edge neuroscience data while studying and developing their own deep learning tools.


Ph.D., Georgetown University, Neuroscience

BS, Union College, Neuroscience