Bianca Jones Marlin, Ph.D.

Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute.  She holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from New York University School of Medicine, and dual bachelor degrees in biology and adolescent education from St. John’s University. 

As postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Axel, she investigates transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, or how trauma in parents affect the brain structure and sensory experience of their future offspring. During her graduate studies, in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Froemke, Dr. Marlin examined how the brain adapts to care for a newborn. Her findings uncovered a fundamental role of the neuromodulator oxytocin during the transition to motherhood.

Dr. Marlin aims to utilize neurobiology and the science of learning to better inform both the scientific and educational community on how positive experiences dictate brain health, academic performance, and social well being.


Recent Press


Five Questions for Mother’s Day with Neuroscientist Bianca Jones Marlin

Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD, is a neuroscientist—and new mom—who studies the biology of parental behavior. We spoke with Marlin to learn more about her work, and how her own experience has shaped her research.

May 11, 2018

Fox 5 NYC: What's on your mind? Brain Awareness Week

Dr. Marlin answers questions about the effects of emotions on the brain.

March 19, 2018

Bianca Jones Marlin named STAT WUNDERKIND

“If your parents face trauma, or you do and you’re pregnant — certain things can be passed through to the fetus that can affect the fetus inside you,” Marlin said. “But if your grandchildren have that effect, that means something else is being carried through.”

October 13, 2017

Interview: Columbia University #ACTUALLIVINGSCIENTIST

#actuallivingscientist Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD, has always been interested in parental behavior. “I started off as a teacher before I started grad school, and I was very interested in how kids learn, and how different environmental factors influence how we learn,” she says.

February 8, 2017

Bianca Jones Marlin Receives Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will award the Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience to Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center. Supported by The Grass Foundation, the prize recognizes an outstanding PhD thesis in the area of general behavioral neuroscience.

November 8, 2016

Story Collider Podcast

Bianca Jones Marlin: It's because she's black

On the first day of grad school for her PhD, a fellow student tells Bianca Jones Marlin that she doesn't really belong there.

March 26, 2015


Columbia University | tHE zuckerman institute



Photo Credit: Jeffery DelViscio/STAT