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Wednesday, 20 August 2008 10:11

Principal Investigator

Tom Otis, Ph.D.tom

Dr. Otis received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University in 1988. He completed his Ph.D. in 1993 in the laboratory of Istvan Mody at Stanford where he studied inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampus.

From 1993-1996 he was a postdoctoral scholar in Larry Trussell's lab at University of Wisconsin, Madison and from 1996-1998 he was a postdoctoral fellow in Craig Jahr's lab at the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University. In 1998 he began his independent lab at UCLA. His is currently Professor and Chair in the Department of Neurobiology.



Research Staff:

Meera Pratap, Ph.D.

Meera Pratap obtained her Ph.D from Central Drug Research Institute and Osmania University, India. Before joining Otis lab, she worked on structure-function of calcium activated potassium (BK) channels and showed that BK channel functional heterogeneity is, to a large extent, due to the association with four different beta subunits which have tissue specific expression. She also elucidated the topology of BK channels showing that they are composed of seven transmembrane domains with extracellular N-terminus and a long intracellular C-terminus. She joined the Otis lab in 2002 with an interest to work on brian slice physiology and viral expression. In recent years, she has been involved in projects with native and recombinant extrasynaptic GABAA receptors. Most recently she studied the functional consequences of the RNA binding alternative splicing regulator Fox-1 and Fox-2 knock-out mice on cerebellar Purkinje cell firing collaboration with Dr. Doug Black at UCLA). In addition, she is involved in characterizing a transgenic mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia 2, in collaboration with the Pulst Laboratory (University of Utah).




Resident Research Fellow:

Matt Shtrahman, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Shtrahman did his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. His doctoral work focused on optical measurements of single vesicle dynamics in the laboratory of Dr. XL Wu.









Postdoctoral Fellows:

Paul Mathews, Ph.D.

Dr. Mathews received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin in 2008 for work on temporal coding in the mammalian auditory brainstem in the laboratory of Nace Golding. Currently, he is working on utilizing both novel optical approaches, including optogenetics and classical electrophysiological techniques to determine the role of the climbing fiber pathway in cerebellar mediated motor learning and memory.








Ka-Hung Lee, Ph.D.

Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Southern California for his work on cerebellar mechanisms of eyeblink learning. He studied in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Thompson.











Xiaoping Tong, Ph.D.

Dr. Tong received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Neurosciences in Shanghai, China in 2009. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Baljit Khakh at UCLA and joined the Otis lab in 2013.


Graduate Students:

Alex Reeves, B.S.

Alex received his B.S. in neuroscience from UCLA. For his undergraduate research, he investigated the potential link between astrocyte activity and hippocampal LTP with Prof. Tom O'Dell. After obtaining his degree, he worked as a research assistant in the lab of Prof. Baljit Khakh where he evaluated the efficacy of calcium dyes in imaging astrocyte fine processes. He is now pursuing a PhD in the lab of Prof. Tom Otis and will dissect the cellular mechanisms of motor learning in the cerebellum.



Former lab members:

Gabor Brasnjo, Ph.D.

Gabor completed postdoctoral work at Cornell University Medical School with Tim Ryan and at Stanford University in the lab of Rob Malenka. He is currently obtaining his J.D. at Hastings College of the Law.


Shlomo Dellal, Ph.D.

Shlomo currently works in the laboratory of Dr. Don Faber at Albert Einstein Medical College.


Jeff Dzubay, Ph.D.

Jeff currently works as a Scientist at Invitrogen/Molecular Probes.


Paul Dodson, D.Phil.

Paul is a Career Development Fellow in the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit at Oxford.


Movses Karakossian, Ph.D.

A former graduate student, Movses currently works as a Scientist at Allergan.


Ray Luo, Ph.D.

Ray graduated in 2012 and now works as a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Josh Johansen at RIKEN.


Jaione Maiz, Ph.D..

Jaione completed her Ph.D. in 2012 and is now exploring entrepreneurial ventures in biotech.


Viji Santhakumar, M.D., Ph.D.

Viji is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosciences at New Jersey Medical School.


Spencer Smith, Ph.D.

Spencer is an Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina.


Joyce Wondolowski, Ph.D.

Joyce is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Dion Dickman's lab at USC.





Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 October 2013 17:34 )