Yurii Vlasov


  • Title: Professor
  • Group: Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition
  • Status: Beckman Affiliate Faculty
  • Home: Electrical and Computer Engineering



Dr. Yurii Vlasov is a Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative (GEBI) Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has tenure with the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Bioengineering, as well as the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. At Illinois, he established the Integrated Neurotechnology lab devoted to development of advanced engineering approaches aimed at reverse engineering of the brain circuits. The major themes include development of silicon-based nanofluidic and nanophotonic neural probes, in vivo neurobiological experiments with massive recording and manipulation of brain activity, and, lastly, development of machine-learning algorithms to analyze large neural datasets.

Prior to joining the U of I in 2016, Dr. Vlasov held various research and managerial positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York, where he led broad company-wide efforts in integrated silicon nanophotonics and more recently in neuromorphic computing architectures. He initiated the Silicon Nanophotonics project in 2001 and managed it for more than 15 years from its early fundamental research stage up to commercial manufacturing of optical transceivers for large-scale datacenters and supercomputers. The technology has been fully qualified and deployed for commercial production at GlobalFoundries. 

Prior to joining IBM in 2001, Dr. Vlasov developed semiconductor nanophotonics at the N.E.C. Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and at the Strasbourg IPCMS Institute in France. For over a decade, he was also a research scientist with the Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology in St. Petersburg, Russia, working on optics of nanostructured semiconductors. He received his M.S. from the University of St. Petersburg (1988) and Ph.D from the Ioffe Institute (1994), both in physics.


Through our research, we aim to uncover the principles of brain computations that form the basis of perception and guide complex behavior. Our vision is to integrate engineering, systems neuroscience, and data analytics to advance our knowledge of the inner workings of the brain. The interdisciplinary projects in the lab can be categorized into three main directions: Neuro-engineering, Neuro-biology, and Neuro-informatics. Neuro-engineering is focused on developing advanced neural probes to interrogate and manipulate the brain using nanotechnology approaches. These novel tools are used in Neuro-biology experiments to record massive datasets of brain activity in live animals during active navigation in virtual reality. Development of machine learning analytical methods in Neuro-informatics provides insight into the functionality of neural circuits and systems. 


  • 2016
    • T Gokmen, Y Vlasov, Acceleration of Deep Neural Network Training with Resistive Cross-Point Devices arXiv preprint arXiv:1603.07341 2016
    • DM Gill, C Xiong, JE Proesel, JC Rosenberg, J Orcutt, M Khater, J Ellis-Monaghan, A Stricker, E Kiewra, Y Martin, Y Vlasov, W Haensch, W Green, Demonstration of Error-Free 32-Gb/s Operation From Monolithic CMOS Nanophotonic Transmitters. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters 28 (13), 1410-1413 2016
    • T Gokmen, Y Vlasov; Acceleration of Deep Neural Network Training with Resistive Cross-Point Devices: Design Considerations. Frontiers in Neuroscience 10, 333, 2016
    • T Barwicz, N Boyer, A Janta-Polczynski, JF Morissette, Y Thibodeau, L Patry, T Lichoulas, E Kimbrell, S Martel, S Kamlapurkar, S Engelmann, R Bruce, Y Vlasov, P Fortier, A Metamaterial Converter Centered at 1490nm for Interfacing Standard Fibers to Nanophotonic Waveguides. Optical Fiber Communication Conference, M2I. 3. 2016
  • 2015
    • NJ Sofroniew, YA Vlasov, SA Hires, J Freeman, K Svoboda; Neural coding in barrel cortex during whisker-guided locomotion. eLife 4, e12559, 2015.
    • T Barwicz, N Boyer, S Harel, TW Lichoulas, EL Kimbrell, a Janta-Polczynski, S Kamlapurkar, S Engelmann, Y Vlasov, P Fortier, Automated, self-aligned assembly of 12 fibers per nanophotonic chip with standard microelectronics assembly tooling. Proc. 65th IEEE Conf on Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), 775-782, 2015.
    • DM Gill, JE Proesel, C Xiong, JS Orcutt, JC Rosenberg, MH Khater, T Barwicz, S Assefa, S Shank, C Reinholm, J Ellis-Monaghan, E Kiewra, S Kamlapurkar, C Breslin, W Green, W Haensch, Y Vlasov, Demonstration of a High Extinction Ratio Monolithic CMOS Integrated Nanophotonic Transmitter and 16 Gb/s Optical Link. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 21 (4), 212-222, 2015.
  • 2014
    • W. D. Sacher, W. M. J. Green, D. M. Gill, S. Assefa, T. Barwicz, M. Khater, E. Kiewra, C.Reinholm, S. M. Shank, Y. A. Vlasov, and Joyce K. S. Poon; Binary phase-shift keying by coupling modulation of microrings; Optics Express, 22 (17), 20252-20259 (2014).
    • B. G. Lee, A. V. Rylyakov, W. M. J. Green, S. Assefa, C. W. Baks, R. Rimolo-Donadio, D. M. Kuchta, M. H. Khater, T. Barwicz, C. Reinholm, E. Kiewra, S. M. Shank, C. L. Schow, and Y. A. Vlasov; Monolithic Silicon Integration of Scaled Photonic Switch Fabrics, CMOS Logic, and Device Driver Circuits; Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 32, Issue 4, pp. 743-751 (2014)
  • 2013
    • W. D. Sacher, W. M. J. Green, S. Assefa, T. Barwicz, H. Pan, S. M. Shank, Y. A. Vlasov, and J. K. S. Poon. Coupling modulation of microrings at rates beyond the linewidth limit, Optics Express, 21(8), 9722-9733, 2013.
    • Horst, Folkert; Green, William M J; Assefa, Solomon; Shank, Steven M; Vlasov, Yurii A; Offrein, Bert Jan; Cascaded Mach-Zehnder wavelength filters in silicon photonics for low loss and flat passband WDM (de-) multiplexing. Optics Express, Vol. 21 pp.11652-11658 (2013)
  • 2012
    • Y.A. Vlasov, Silicon CMOS-integrated nano-photonics for computer and data communications beyond 100G, IEEE Communications Magazine, 50(2), s67--s72, 2012
    • A V Rylyakov, C L Schow, B G Lee, W M J Green, S Assefa, F E Doany, M Yang, J Van Campenhout, C V Jahnes, J A Kash, Y.Vlasov. Silicon Photonic Switches Hybrid-Integrated With CMOS Drivers, IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, 47(99), 1--1, 2012
    • M. Tassaert, S. Keyvaninia, D. Van Thourhout, W.M.J. Green, Y. Vlasov, G. Roelkens. An optically pumped nanophotonic InP/InGaAlAs optical amplifier integrated on a SOI waveguide circuit, Optical and Quantum Electronics, 1--7, Springer Netherlands, 2012
    • C. Kang, S.M. Weiss, Y.A. Vlasov, S. Assefa. Optimized light--matter interaction and defect hole placement in photonic crystal cavity sensors, Optics Letters 37(14), 2850--2852, Optical Society of America, 2012
    • JC Rosenberg, WMJ Green, S. Assefa, DM Gill, T. Barwicz, M. Yang, SM Shank, YA Vlasov, A 25 Gbps silicon microring modulator based on an interleaved junction. Optics Express 20(24), 26411- -26423, Optical Society of America, 2012
    • H. Pan, S. Assefa, W.M.J. Green, D.M. Kuchta, C.L. Schow, A.V. Rylyakov, B.G. Lee, C.W. Baks, S.M. Shank, Y.A. Vlasov. High-speed receiver based on waveguide germanium photodetector wirebonded to 90nm SOI CMOS amplifier. Optics Express 20(16), 18145--18155, Optical Society of America, 2012


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