Skip Navigation
Return to All Schools

Robert G. Merrick Jr. Research Chair

Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Established in 1991 by the Jacob and Annita France Foundation and the Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick Foundation, Inc., in memory of Robert G. Merrick Jr.

MerrickRobertROBERT G. MERRICK JR. (pictured), who died in 1990 at the age of 58, came from a family with strong ties to the university through their history of generous giving and the service of several as trustees. His father, Robert G. Merrick, A&S 1917; his sister, Anne Pinkard; and his nephew, Walter Pinkard Jr., have all been Hopkins trustees. The professorship was created to support an early- to mid-career investigator in the field of cognitive neuroscience or brain science at the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute. The institute is an interdisciplinary research center at Hopkins devoted to the study of the neural mechanisms of higher mental function, particularly perception.

Held by Christopher R. Fetsch

CHRISTOPHER R. FETSCH, Ph.D., is the Robert G. Merrick Jr. Research Chairholder (Mind/Brain Institute). He is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience and a member of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009. Before joining Hopkins in 2017, Dr. Fetsch served as an associate research scientist in the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University in New York.

His research explores the neurobiology of decision making during complex, naturalistic behavior, focusing on how the brain combines evidence from multiple sensory modalities, and how it assigns a degree of confidence in a perceptual decision. To gain a mechanistic understanding of these higher-order perceptual and cognitive functions, Dr. Fetsch’s laboratory combines multi-channel electrophysiology, causal manipulations of brain activity, and flight simulator technology to deliver visual and vestibular motion stimuli in humans and behaving nonhuman primates.