Gregory Gage, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
CEO and Co-Founder, Backyard Brains

308 1/2 S. State St.

Ann Arbor, MI 48104



Dr. Gage joined the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology in 2018 and is the co-founder and CEO of Backyard Brains, an Ann Arbor-based company started as a neuroscience graduate student at the University of Michigan. Greg is a published neuroscientist and engineer and develops tools, curriculum and experiments that allow the general public participate in neural discovery.   He is an award-winning investigator at the National Institute of Health, a Senior Fellow at TED and the recipient of the White House Champion of Change award from Barack Obama for his commitment to citizen science.

He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University, a M.S. in Computer Engineering from University of South Carolina and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. In August, you can find Greg at the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole, MA where he does research and teaches the Methods of Computational Neuroscience course.

Areas of Interest

Dr. Gage interests are currently focused on neuroscience education.  Little attention is given to neuroscience education prior to graduate school.  One reason may be the lack of low cost and engaging teaching materials. To address this, Greg is developing a suite of open-source tools which are appropriate for amateurs and for use in high school, undergraduate, and graduate level educational and research programs.  His organization (Backyard Brains) produces open-source DIY neuroscience tools which are appropriate for the benchtop of both research and instructional teaching labs.  Our focus is on hands-on experiments and electrophysiology.

Honors & Awards

Society for Neuroscience Next Generation Award

Editors Choice Award: Maker Faire Detroit

5th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival. Controlled Experiments.

United States “Champions of Change” award at the White House

TED Senior Fellow

NIMH Director’s Innovation Award

Profiled on Mythbuster’s “White Rabbit Project” on Netflix

Published Articles or Reviews

Marzullo TC, Gage GJ. The SpikerBox: a low cost, open-source bioamplifier for increasing public participation in neuroscience inquiry. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e30837.

Dagda RK, Thalhauser RM, Dagda R, Marzullo TC, Gage GJ. Using crickets to introduce neurophysiology to early undergraduate students. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ. 2013;12(1):A66-74.

Nguyen DMT, Roper M, Mircic S, Olberg RM, Gage GJ. Grasshopper DCMD: An Undergraduate Electrophysiology Lab for Investigating Single-Unit Responses to Behaviorally-Relevant Stimuli. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ. 2017; Jun 15;15(2):A162-A173.

Open Labware: 3-D printing your own lab equipment. Baden T, Chagas AM, Gage GJ, Marzullo TC, Prieto-Godino LL, Euler T. PLoS Biol. 2015 Mar 20;13(3):e1002086. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002086. eCollection 2015

Gage GJ, Stoetzner CR, Wiltschko AB, Berke JD. Selective activation of striatal fast-spiking interneurons during choice execution. Neuron. 2010 Aug 12;67(3):466-79.

Gage GJ, Ludwig KA, Otto KJ, Ionides EL, Kipke DR. Naive coadaptive cortical control. J Neural Eng. 2005 Jun;2(2):52-63.

Web Sites