Dr. Charles S. Zuker, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has been an Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI, investigator since 1989. He received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as a postdoc at University of California, Berkeley. Before moving to the East Coast, he was a professor at the University of California, San Diego.
Dr Zuker is worldwide known for his work in sensory neuroscience, including mechanisms of phototransduction and mechanotransduction. He and collaborators identified the cells, receptors, and coding logic for the five basic taste qualities. His laboratory is currently using a combined molecular, genetic, and physiological approach to study signal processing, information transfer, and coding mechanisms in sensory systems.
Dr Zuker has served in numerous national and international advisory panels and review Boards, including those of several private foundations. Several awards, including the Cogan Award and the Alcon Award for his research on vision, the Spencer Award from Columbia University, and the International Flavors and Fragrances Award, have recognized his research. In April 2004, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He is the co-founder of the companies Aurora Biosciences, Kallyope Inc. and Senomyx Inc. He serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board in several companies, like Avalon Ventures, Escient Pharmaceuticals and Ambit Biosciences. He is also a Science Partner at The Column Group LLC.