Joel, during his time in the lab, explored approaches to minimally invasive and highly scalable brain computer interfaces with single neuron resolution. He finished his bachelor's degree from Hampshire College in 2014, where he designed his own major, blending studies in cellular and molecular neuroscience and electrical and computer engineering. At Hampshire, Joel led a project to develop an optogenetic interface for P19 differentiated neuronal cells. Later while interning in the Robinson Neuroengineering Lab at Rice University, Joel worked to design and implement a novel platform to investigate single neuron computation using a digital mirror device, optogenetics, and patch-clamp electrophysiology. In parallel to his time as a research affiliate in the lab, Joel was also the head engineer at BioBright.