Dr. Fotowat received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering (1999) from AmirKabir University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, her master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2002) from University of Houston, TX and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience (2010) from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

Dr. Fotowat’s PhD work focused on characterizing the neural mechanisms and sensory-motor transformations that underlie generation of visually evoked escape behaviors in locusts and Drosophila. Her postdoctoral research at McGill University, University of Ottawa and Harvard University extended these studies to investigate the neural basis of variability, context-, and experience-dependence of sensory evoked behaviors. Her scientific endeavors have also resulted in technical breakthroughs such as wireless neural recording in small freely moving insects and freely swimming fish. She is currently a Senior Scientist at the Wyss Institute, working with Mike Levin’s Lab on discovering cellular mechanisms underlying behaviors of biological robots endowed  with a nervous system, as well as driving efforts to understand the effect of prolonged stasis on memory formation and recall using Xenopus tadpoles as a model.