Born in the American Midwest (Kansas City), Christof Koch grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco, where he graduated from the Lycée Descartes. He studied physics and philosophy at the University of Tübingen in Germany and was awarded his PhD in Biophysics in 1982 from the Max-Planck Institut for Biological Cybernetics.
Prof. Koch then followed his thesis supervisor to the United States where he completed a 4 year post-doctoral fellow at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at MIT. Koch joined Caltech in 1986, where he is the Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology. In 2011, he became the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute of Brain Science in Seattle to lead a large scale, focused and high-throughout, ten year effort to understand information processing and coding in the rodent neocortex. He loves dogs, Apple Computers, rock-climbing, trailing running in the mountains and biking.
The author of more than three hundred scientific papers and journal articles, patents and books, Koch studies the biophysics of computation, and the neuronal basis of visual perception, attention, and consciousness. Together with Francis Crick, with whom he worked closely with for over 16 years, he is one of the pioneers of the neurobiological approach to consciousness.