Biophysics and Neuroscience

Gašper Tkačik

Gašper Tkačik is a theoretical physicist who studies information processing in living systems. He uses tools from statistical physics of disordered systems and from information theory to investigate biological systems such as networks of neurons or genes. The unifying hypothesis driving his research has been that information processing networks have evolved or adapted to maximize the information transmitted from their inputs to the outputs, given the biophysical noise and resource constraints. He works closely with experimentalists and analyzes data sets that record simultaneously the behavior of many network components. Results of his work gave insight into the principles of genetic regulation in early morphogenesis of Drosophila and of information coding in retinal ganglion cells. In the future, he plans to expand his activities to study collective behavior and cellular self-organization.

Gašper Tkačik
Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
Am Campus 1
A – 3400 Klosterneuburg

Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-4501

CV and publication list

Gašper Tkačik's website

Christine Ostermann

Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-1071


  • Anna Andersson, Postdoc
  • Katarina Bodova, Postdoc
  • Vicente Botella Soler, Postdoc
  • Gabriel Mitchell, Postdoc
  • Cristina Savin, Postdoc
  • Thomas Sokolowski, Postdoc
  • Georg Rieckh, PhD Student

Current Projects

  • Visual encoding in the retina
  • Genetic regulation during early embryogenesis
  • Collective dynamics in groups of organisms

Selected Publications

  • Tkačik G, Prentice JS, Victor JD, Balasubramanian V. 2010. Local
    statistics in natural scenes predict the saliency of synthetic textures.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107: 18149–18154
  • Tkačik G, Prentice JS, Balasubramanian V, Schneidman E. 2010.
    Optimal population coding by noisy spiking neurons. Proceedings of
    the National Academy of Sciences USA 107: 14419–14424.
  • Tkačik G, Callan CG, Bialek W. 2008. Information flow and
    optimization in transcriptional regulation. Proceedings of the
    National Academy of Sciences USA 105: 12265–12270.


2011 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2008–2010 Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania
2007 Postdoc, Princeton University
2007 PhD, Princeton University

Selected Distinctions

2011 HFSP Grant
2006 Charlotte E Procter Honorific Fellowship, Princeton University
2003 Burroughs-Wellcome Fellowship, Princeton University
2002 Golden sign of the University of Ljubljana

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