John P Welsh, PhD

John P Welsh, PhD
"When I was a kid, I was fascinated by animal behavior—by questions such as why does that dog do what it does, or why does one squirrel chase another squirrel? I realized there has to be something internal to the animal that determines, with millisecond precision, what it's going to be doing at a particular moment. As I grew up, I kept getting more interested in how the brain generates behavior, in the neurological processes underlying thinking and action and in trying to apply those insights to medical issues and neurological disorders."
  • Biography

    Research Description

    My research seeks to understand brain function in both health and disease and spans SIDS and autism. In SIDS, my team is investigating the molecular basis of neurotransmitter receptor changes in the brainstem after bouts of brain hypoxia and their relation to the hyperexcitability and neuronal death upon recovery to normoxia. For Autism, my team is describing the electrophysiological signatures of neocortical activity that permit rapid temporal processing of sound sequences and how their disruption in autism may serve as an electrophysiological phenotype for delayed language development. Our studies are based within the laboratory but also reach out to collaborators in clinical and preclinical settings around the country. Our experiments are inherently multidisciplinary and involve behavioral conditioning, in vivo multiple microelectrode neurophysiology in behaving animals, gene transfer using retroviral-based vectors, in vitro electrophysiology, and real-time optical imaging of neuronal circuits.

    Research Focus Area

    Neuroscience / Neurodevelopment

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