Bioengineering and neuroengineering applications of retinal physiology, visual neuroscience, and ophthalmology, including the interface between cells and micro/nanotechnologies.
Professor Silva's research interests are in neuroscience and neural computing and engineering. He studies the neurobiology of neural signaling at cellular and cellular network scales in order to learn about the mechanisms that underlie neural computation and information processing in the brain. He achieves this by integrating advanced mathematics with experimental neurobiology. Silva’s ultimate goals are twofold: the first is to abstract away the underlying biology of the brain in order to develop mathematical models and algorithms that capture key elements of neural processing, with the objective to leverage such algorithms for engineering advanced systems that emulate the computational properties of the brain. The second is to understand how canonical neurophysiological processes result in the unique emergent properties associated with neural computation; in effect, understanding what makes the human brain unique from a computational perspective. This work is of relevance for understanding neurological disorders associated with dysfunctions of network signaling and information processing, such as neural developmental disorders. A related pursuit is the development of neural engineering nanotechnologies aimed at the restoration of neurological function.
Gabriel Silva became an associate professor of bioengineering at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering in 2003. He also holds a joint appointment as an assistant professor in ophthalmology. Silva received his Ph.D. in bioengineering and ophthalmology, from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001. Most recently he was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University's Institute for Bioengineering and Nanoscience in Advanced Medicine. Silva is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Society for Neuroscience.