News


Recent Grants, Awards, Honors, and New Faces

October – December 2019

  • Andrew Mecca was awarded a F31 Fellowship.
  • Zoe Owrutsky Passed her comps.

Recent Publications



July – September 2019

The Department of Physiology is excited to welcome Dr. Daniel Denman to our Faculty!

The Denman Lab is interested in how populations of neurons generate sensory perceptions. We use quantitative psychophysics, in vivo electrophysiology, in vivo imaging, circuit tracing, and computational methods to study the dynamics of populations of single neurons. We particularly focus on how neural interactions - within areas and distributed widely across the mammalian brain – represent, transmit, and transform information along the way to generating a perception. The interactions we probe span timescales from behavioral epochs (minutes) to non-linear neural integration (microseconds).

Our lab focuses on the neural mechanisms of visual perception. We use primary visual cortex (V1) as an organizing hub, investigating the circuit interactions within V1 microcircuits as well as interactions of V1 neurons with connected cortical and subcortical areas. Using physiological circuit-tracing, we seek to understand not just how information can be shaped in visual circuits, but what aspects of neural activity are *actually* used to generate perceptions. Using circuit-guided simultaneous high-density electrophysiology, we generate hypotheses for how neural dynamics relate to perception. Optogenetic and electrical manipulations allow us to causally test these hypotheses, to the extent that causality is a useful framework for understanding any neural function.

Klug Lab

  • Liz McCullagh welcomed Daughter Layla Nel McCullagh, born September 1st at 3:30 am.

Peng Lab

  • Giusy Caprara and Andrew Mecca gave talks at the Inner Ear Biology Workshop in Padova, Italy.

Person Lab

  • Abby Person received two new grants:
    • R01: Circuit mechanisms of cerebellar control of reaching movements
    • She is a co-PI with Diego Restrepo and Emily Gibson on an NSF grant: Collaborative Research: NCS-FR: Shedding light on brain circuits

April – June 2019

The Department of Physiology is excited to welcome Dr. Cristin Welle to our Faculty!

Dr. Cristin Welle, PhD, runs the BIOElectrics Lab, which focuses on the development and implementation of translational neurotechnology. The lab investigates the relationship between neurological medical devices and functional plasticity in the nervous system. Dr. Welle has a primary appointment in the Department of Neurosurgery, where she also has recently begun her role as the Vice-Chair for Research. Within the past quarter, Dr. Welle’s Good News this past quarter is that both the BIOElectrics lab and Dr. Welle’s office have been relocated to the 7th floor, and that she is joining the Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics. We are looking forward to being a part of the department!

Bankston Lab

  • Robert Klipp was awarded a slot on the T32 training grant in cardiology

Klug Lab

Person Lab

  • Matt Becker published a paper in Neuron, “Cerebellar control of reach kinematics for endpoint precision.”
  • Dylan Calame was awarded an NRSA.
  • Abby Person was promoted to Associate professor with tenure.

Tollin Lab

  • John Peacock received a travel award to give an invited talk at the 177th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Louisville, KY entitled “Displacement of the stapes differs across species—Implications for studies of auditory function”
  • Dan Tollin gave the following invited lectures:
    • “Behavioral and neural auditory spatial acuity can be persistently reduced by early temporary hearing loss,” Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN), Magdeburg University, Germany
    • “The binaural interaction component of the auditory brainstem response – an electrophysiological biomarker of binaural and spatial hearing hearing,” Oldenburg University, Germany
    • “Say What? Brief Periods of Hearing Loss during Early Development Can Have Consequences Later in Life,” Saumil N. Merchant Memorial Lecture, 152nd Annual Meeting, American Otological Society, Austin TX.
    • “The binaural interaction component – a potential objective biomarker for binaural and spatial hearing abilities,” Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
    • “Behavioral and neural auditory spatial acuity can be persistently reduced by early temporary hearing loss,” Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, University of Texas Health-San Antonio

      Welle Lab


    January – March 2019

    Bankston Lab

    • Megan Cullinan was awarded an F31 Fellowship (NRSA)

    Beam Lab

    • The Beam Lab article Stac Proteins Suppress Ca2+-Dependent Inactivation of Neuronal l-type Ca2+ Channels was recommended in F1000Prime as being of special significance in its field.

    Klug Lab

    • Liz McCullagh has accepted a tenure track faculty position in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University starting January 2020.

    Peng Lab

    • Andrew Mecca passed his Comprehensive Exam.

    Proenza Lab

    • Colin Peters has been awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship for a proposal he wrote that was scored at the 4.6th percentile.

    Zylberberg Lab

    • Elijah Christensen has received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award.