Bryan Alvarez is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, researching brain-based and cognitive mechanisms of a unique form of sensory-blending called synesthesia, which he also experiences. Bryan made a transition from music performance to life sciences during his undergraduate education at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music after rediscovering a passion for the delicate and vast intricacy of living systems, and in particular the human brain. He earned degrees in Trombone Performance (BM) and Biology (BA, emphasis in Neuroscience) and later accepted an invitation to study at UC Berkeley, beginning his doctoral research on synesthesia in 2006.
Accessible education and mentorship have always been dear to heart for Bryan. He co-founded and helps lead a K-12 outreach program called Mind and Brain Outreach, which brings graduate students into schools to teach about their love of the mind and brain, often to several hundred students at a time in interactive exhibit-based events called Mind and Brain Nights. He has also given many talks for scientific and public audiences (grade school to adult) on the beauty and intrigue of the mind and brain, and on his own research.
In September of 2009, Bryan began organizing a project to create the first fully 3D interactive, online, open-contribution, and scalable atlas of the human body as a mission to celebrate the beauty of living things, beginning with the vast and stunning human body, and share that celebration with the world.