Psychology

Avrama Kim Blackwell

Avrama Kim  Blackwell

Avrama Kim Blackwell

Director of the PhD Program, Neuroscience Program

Professor, Molecular Neuroscience Department

Molecular Neuroscience Department: Computational and experimental approaches to the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms of long term memory storage, understanding the cellular and molecular events underlying the discrimination of spatio-temporal patterns by neurons

Kim 'Avrama' Blackwell is a professor in the Krasnow Institute of Advanced Studies.  She has a V.M.D. (Veterinary Medicine), M.S. (Systems Engineering) and Ph.D. (Bioengineering) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr Blackwell investigate calcium dynamics and signaling pathways involved in long term memory storage.  One of the fundamental, unsolved questions in neuroscience is how different spatio-temporal patterns of input produce different memories and shape information processing. She also investigates the role of dopamine in both normal reward learning and Parkinson's disease.  Her lab develops novel computer software and realistic neuronal models, as well as using electrophysiology to answer these questions.

Selected Publications

Desynchronization of Fast-Spiking Interneurons Reduces β-Band Oscillations and Imbalance in Firing in the Dopamine-Depleted Striatum. Damodaran S, Cressman JR, Jedrzejewski-Szmek Z, Blackwell KT. J Neurosci. 2015 Jan 21;35(3):1149-59.

Sensitivity to theta-burst timing permits LTP in dorsal striatal adult brain slice. Hawes SL, Gillani F, Evans RC, Benkert EA, Blackwell KT. J Neurophysiol. 2013 Nov;110(9):2027-36.

Dynamic modulation of spike timing-dependent calcium influx during corticostriatal upstates. Evans RC, Maniar YM, Blackwell KT. J Neurophysiol. 2013 Oct;110(7):1631-45.

Signaling pathways involved in striatal synaptic plasticity are sensitive to temporal pattern and exhibit spatial specificity. Kim B, Hawes SL, Gillani F, Wallace LJ, Blackwell KT. PLoS Comput Biol. 2013;9(3):e1002953.

Modelling the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity using systems biology approaches. Kotaleski and Blackwell. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010; 11(4):239-51.