Gilles Laurent, a French citizen, was born in 1960 in Casablanca, Morocco. After a PhD in Neuroethology from the University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse (France) and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1985, he worked as a postdoc and a Locke Research Fellow of the Royal Society at the University of Cambridge/UK. In 1990, he joined the faculty of the Biology Division at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA, USA), where he became Lawrence A. Hanson Professor of Biology in the field of "Computation and Neural Systems” in 2002. His interests are in experimental and computational neuroscience, with an emphasis on coding and circuit computation in the olfactory and visual systems. In 2008, Gilles Laurent was appointed Director of the Department of Neural Systems and Coding at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main (Germany).