I'm a jazz pianist, composer, and neuroscientist.

John’s creative solo work is an intense mashup of musical brilliance, genetic sequences, and neuroscience
— Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor, writer and editor


John C. O'Leary III is a jazz pianist, composer, and neuroscientist. His debut solo record is called CRISPR, which is a collection of original works for piano in a variety of genres from jazz to classical to blues. It was born of John’s desire to combine his passions, music and science, and to bring his community closer to the scientific world. John feels that science and music are intimately interconnected and their combination exposes a truth about the human perspective.

John is the recipient of the "Individual Artist Award" by the Arts Council of Hillsborough Country (2017), and the Ruth L. Kirschstein F31 predoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (2011). 

John is also the pianist for the highly acclaimed jazz group La Lucha, which was awarded Creative Loafing’s “Best of the Bay Jazz Ensemble” in 2013, 2014 & 2015. They were featured presenters at TEDxTampa Bay (2014), TEDxUSF (2015), and TEDxDouglasville (2017). La Lucha has been the recipient of  the “Think Small to Think Big" grant by Creative Pinellas. Also they received the "Project GenYes" grant by the Studio@620, to present a multi-media art installation to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, that was made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

In addition, John has been an invited speaker at the international conference for the Society for Neuroscience in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and presented his research at the Midwestern Stress Response conference at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, and the Florida chapter meeting for the American Chemical Society in Orlando, FL.

John holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of South Florida College of Medicine. His dissertation research examines a group of proteins termed “chaperones” and their effects on the development of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and stress-related psychiatric disorders. The depression component of his research was highlighted by the post-publication peer-reviewing agency Faculty of 1000, which places the article in the top 2% of all published articles in the biological and medical sciences.