Dr. Chi Chung Alan Fung
Post-Doctoral Researcher

E-mail: chichung dot fung at oist dot jp

I obtained my Ph.D. in Physics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2013. After my Ph.D. graduation, I joined the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (currently Center for Brain Science) to serve as a research scientist. Since April 2019, I have joint OIST to serve as a staff scientist and perform theoretical researches on Computational Neuroscience.

I have engaged in theoretical researches in Neuroscience since 2006. My research areas include neural field models, networks of spiking neurons, and analysis of experimental data obtained from Neuroscience experiments.

Asabuki Toshitake
PhD Student

E-mail: toshitake.asabuki at

I am a PhD student at The University of Tokyo, joining OIST as a Special Research Student. Before coming to OIST, I had been working as a research trainee at RIKEN Under the supervision of Prof. Fukai.

I am interested in learning mechanisms of sequence information in the brain. In particular, I have been studying neural network models and learning rules that detect repetitive patterns in sequences.

Milena Menezes Carvalho
PhD Student

E-mail: milena.menezes at

I’m currently a PhD student at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, working as a Special Research Student at the Neural Coding and Brain Computing Unit.

Before coming to Japan, I pursued both my BSc in Computational Physics and my MSc in Physics at the São Carlos Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo. From my very first undergraduate research project I have been interested in computational neuroscience and its interplay with physics, staying in the same field to this day.

I'm particularly interested in modeling, simulation, characterization and analysis of neuronal activity in spiking neuronal networks, as well as characterization of neuronal avalanches and critical phenomena in artificial and biological neuronal networks.

Tom Burns
PhD Student

E-mail: thomas.burns at

I joined the Neural Coding and Brain Computing Unit in May 2019 as a PhD student. My current research involves building and evaluating simulated neural networks and artificial intellgence systems, especially spiking neural networks.

Before coming to OIST, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) majoring in physiology, a Master of Bioethics, and then a Master of Philosophy by Research (Neuroscience) at Monash University, Australia. I also worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland as a bioethics fellow.

Gastón Sivori
PhD Rotation Student

E-mail: gaston.sivori at 

Greetings, adventurer. I am a PhD student here at OIST currently working in the Neural Coding and Brain Computing Unit for my third rotation. The OIST PhD program starts with three rotations in different research units during the first academic year; this is a great experience to work within radically different perspectives on science. As an Electronic Engineer and former bio-engineering researcher from GIBIO at UTN.BA, I modelled cardiovascular dynamics and worked on the assessment of cardiovascular disease in humans. Now, my interests have shifted to biologically-inspired models of neuronal circuits in the hopes of explaining the underlying mechanisms behind how the brain computes.

In my free time, I enjoy climbing walls, jamming jazz tunes, and roleplaying Dungeons & Dragons.

Research Unit Administrator

Kiyoko Yamada
E-mail: kiyoko.yamada at