Born in the American Midwest, Christof Koch grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco. He studied Physics and Philosophy at the University of Tübingen in Germany and was awarded his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1982. Following four years at MIT, Christof joined the California Institute of Technology as a Professor in Biology and Engineering. After a quarter of a century, Christof left academia to become the Chief Scientific Officer at the not-for-profit Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. He is leading a ten year, large-scale, high through-put effort to build brain observatories to map, analyze, and understand the cerebral cortex. He loves dogs, climbing, biking in Seattle, and long-distance running.
Christof has authored more than 300 scientific papers and articles, eight patents, and five books concerned with the way neurons process information and the neuronal and computational basis of visual perception, selective attention, and consciousness. Together with his long-time collaborator, Francis Crick, Christof pioneered the scientific study of consciousness. His latest book is Consciousness—Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist.