Curriculum Vitae


Columbia University, New York, USA 2018-present
Research Scientist, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behaviour Institute, Gogos Lab

National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA 2018-present
Visiting Scientist, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Free-lance scientific Consultant, 2014-present
Advisory role and scientific reports for early neuroscience pipeline projects & the science of decision-making

Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria 2012-2018
Post-Doctoral Scientist, Center for Brain Research, Klausberger Lab
Mentoring of graduate/master/Ph.D. students at the Dept. of Cognitive Neurobiology
Lecturer at the Medical University Vienna and the University of Vienna

Science VHS Urania & Planetarium, Vienna, Austria 2014-2017
Lecturer - Science lecture series for the lay audience (average attendance of 50-100 people)

Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin, Ireland 2007-2012
Ph.D. in Neuroscience & Postdoctoral Experience, Shane O'Mara Lab
Tutor & Teaching Assistant at the School of Psychology, 2009-2012

Begabtenakademie Niederösterreich, St. Pölten, Austria 2008
Tutor & Teaching activities for students as part of its educational program for the gifted

Flandern Institute of Biotechnology, 8- months graduate training Antwerp, Belgium 2006-2007


PhD in Neuroscience, 2007-2011
Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Institute of Neuroscience
Advisor: Prof. Shane O'Mara

Dipl. Ing. - Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 2003-2007
University of Applied Sciences, Krems, Graduation with distinction


Citations: 163 (Google Scholar, June 2019); Cumulative Impact Factor: 101.4 (June2019)
  1. Padilla-Coreano N., Canetta S., Mikofsky RM., Always E., Passecker J., Myroshnychenko M.V., Garcia-Garcia A.L., Warren R., Teboul E., Blackman D.R., Morton M. P., Hupalo S., Tye K. M., Kellendonk C., Kupferschmidt D. A., Gordon J. A., Hippocampal-prefrontal theta transmission regulates avoidance behavior, Neuron, accepted June 2019
  2. P. Schwartenbeck, J. Passecker, T.H.B. FitzGerald, M. Kronbichler, K. Friston, 2018. Computational mechanisms of curiosity and goal-directed exploration Elife. 2019 May 10;8. pii: e41703. doi: 10.7554/eLife.41703
  3. Passecker J., Mikus N., Malagon-Vina H., Anner P., Dimidschtein J., Fishell G., Dorffner G., Klausberger T., 2018. Activity of prefrontal neurons predict future choices during gamblingNeuron. 2019 Jan 2;101(1):152-164.e7
  4. Passecker J., Islam Md N., Hok V., O'Mara. SM, 2018 Loss of head-directional information of subicular neurons after acute behavioural stress. Eur J Neurosci. 2018 Apr;47(8):1003-1012.
  5. Barlow S., Della-Chiesa A., Passecker J., Smith K., Fahey B., Day J., Hok V., Callaghan CK., O’Mara SM., 2018. Deficits in Temporal Order Memory Induced by Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) Treatment are Rescued by Aerobic Exercise. Brain Research Bulletin 2018 Jun;140:212-219.
  6. H. Malagon-Vina, S. Ciocchi, J. Passecker, G. Dorffner, T. Klausberger, Fluid network dynamics in the prefrontal cortex during multiple strategy switching. Nature Communications, 2018, 22. Jan, 9:309,
  7. Ciocchi S., Passecker J., Malagon-Vina H., Mikus N., Klausberger T., Selective information routing by ventral hippocampal CA1 projection neurons. Science, 2015 May, 1;348:560-3
  8. Jankowski M., Passecker J., Islam Md., Vann S., Erichsen J., Aggleton J., and O'Mara S., Evidence for spatially-responsive neurons in the rostral thalamus Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience 2015 Oct 13;9:256 
  9. Passecker J., Barlow S, O'Mara SM., 2014 Dissociating effects of acute photic stress on spatial, episodic-like and working memory in the rat. Behavioural Brain Research 2014 Oct 1;272:218-
  10. Passecker J., Hok V, Della-Chiesa A, Chah E, O'Mara SM., 2011, Dissociation of dorsal hippocampal regional activation under the influence of acute stress in freely-behaving rats, Frontiers in Behavioual Neuroscience, 5:66;


  • Science Communication under & twitter @neuralethes (2014-Present)
  • Neuroscience columnist for a regional Austrian newspaper (NÖN) (2017-Present).
  • Chairperson of the Austrian-Indian Society for Art and Cultural Exchange, Vienna ( and as such constantly involved in the management of the society, organizing events and promoting the bilateral exchange of ideas and resources (2014-2018).
  • Active Member in several international neuroscience societies (ANA, FENS) 
  • Junior Advisor for the Republic of Ireland for (2008-2013)
  • Visiting graduate studies at Beijing University, Beijing, China and Fudan University, Shanghai, China (2006)


  • NARSAD Young Investigator Grant 2019 (PI, 70K USD)      


  • IMC FH Alumni Award - Winner in the Achievements in academic careers category, 2019
  • ARIT Scholarship, Office of Science and Technology Austria 2019
  • Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund scholarship, 2017
  • Best Presentation Award, ANA-Biannual Meeting, ISTA, Austria, 2017
  • Scholarship Award European Forum Alpbach, Austria, 2011
  • Best Presentation Award, 1st International (ISBS) Stress and Behaviour Conference St. Petersburg, Russia, 2008 


Neuroscience, European Journal of Neuroscience


  1. Austrian Neuroscience Meeting, Innsbruck, Austria, Presentation: Title to be announced, scheduled September 2019
  2. Brainstorms Conference, Vienna, Austria, Plenary Lecture: Title to be announced, scheduled Sept.2019
  3. Medical University Innsbruck, Institute of Pharmacology, Austria, Guest Lecture: New Insights into Cognitive Flexibility, June 2019
  4. IMC FH Krems, Austria, Guest Lecture: The Neurobiology of Bad Decision-making, June 2019
  5. ARIT – Austrian Research & Innovation Talks, Washington D.C, USA, Presentation: Investigating Brain Circuits, Dec.2018
  6. MIT, McGovern Institute, Boston, USA, Seminar: Neuronal Prediction of Gambling Behaviour, Jan. 2018
  7. Keystone Symposia - State of the Brain: Genetic Dissection of Brain Circuits and Behavior in Health and Disease, Keystones, Colorado, USA, Plenary Lecture: Activity of Prefrontal Neurons Predict Future Choices during Gambling, Jan. 2018
  8. Princeton University, Neuroscience Institute, USA, Seminar: Neuronal Prediction of Gambling Behaviour, Jan. 2018
  9. National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Bethesda, USA, Seminar: Activity of Prefrontal Neurons Predict Future Choices during Gambling, Jan. 2018
  10. University College London (UCL), Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, London, UK, Seminar: Modelling gambling behaviour, June 2018
  11. Austrian Neuroscience Meeting, ISTA Klosterneuburg, Austria, Poster, Sept., 2017 
  12. University of Bern, Institute of Physiology, Switzerland, Seminar: Untangling Prefrontal network dynamics during goal-directed behaviours Dec. 2017
  13. Institute of Technology Austria, ISTA Klosterneuburg, Austria, Seminar: Identified Prefrontal efferent projections during gambling behaviour, March 2016
  14. Ascona Meeting, Ascona, Switzerland, Poster, Sept. 2015 
  15. Austrian Neuroscience Meeting, Salzburg, Austria, Presentation: Prefrontal Network Activity during risk, Oct. 2015
  16. MRC Neuroanatomy Unit Science Day, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, Poster, Dec. 2012
  17. Trinity College Dublin, Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Seminar: Dissociating effects of acute photic stress on spatial, episodic-like and working memory in the rat, April 2012
  18. University of Cardiff, Institute of Neuroanatomy, Cardiff, Wales, UK, Seminar: Evidence of Grid and Place cells in the rostral thalamus, March 2011
  19. European Brain and Behaviour Conference, Rhodes, Greece, Poster: Light stress effects on Subicular and CA1 place cells and its implications in a MWM test in rats Sept., 2011 
  20. Society for Neuroscience, Neuroscience Conference, San Diego, USA, Poster: Dissociation of stress response between the hippocampus proper and the dorsal subiculum, Nov., 2010 
  21. International Stress and Behaviour Conference (ISBS) & Summer-school, Saint Petersburg, Russia, Presentation: Acute Stress Effects on Subicular Neurophysiology, May, 2008