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Asaf Keller, PhD

Academic Title:

Professor

Primary Appointment:

Anatomy and Neurobiology

Location:

HSF-I, 222D

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-7307

Education and Training

  • 1985: Ben Gurion University, Israel - B. Med. Sci., Medical Sciences
  • 1988: Ben Gurion University, Israel - Ph.D., Neurobiology
  • 1988-1991: The Rockefeller University, New York - Postdoc, Neurophysiology

Biosketch

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I have been studying sensory processing for over 30 years, starting with my predoctoral work in neuroanatomy with Edward L. White, continuing with my postdoctoral training in neurophysiology with Hiroshi Asanuma at The Rockefeller, and in my own laboratory. For the past decade my work has been focused on brain circuits involved in addiction, chronic pain and affective disorders. I am particularly interested in the role of descending pain modulatory pathways, and in reward pathways—involving thalamus, prefrontal cortex, parabrachial nucleus, periaqueductal gray and related structures—in the affective components of pain, and in drug addiction.

Work in our laboratory takes advantage of multidisciplinary approaches, including in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, calcium and voltage-sensitive dye imaging, extracellular recordings of units, field potential and EEG from awake and anesthetized preparations, neuroanatomical tract tracing and immunocytochemical techniques, and related analytical approaches. I also have a demonstrated record of productive collaboration with mathematicians, physicists, and computational neuroscientists to study neuronal networks.

Research/Clinical Keywords

chronic pain, descending pain modulation, sensory processing, drug abuse

Highlighted Publications

Park, A, Li, Y, Masri, R, Keller, A. (2017) Presynaptic and extrasynaptic regulation of posterior nucleus of thalamus. J Neurophysiol. jn.00862.2016. doi: 10.1152/jn.00862.2016..

Park, A, Hoffman, K, Keller, A (2014) Roles of GABAa and GABAb receptors in regulating thalamic activity by the zona incerta: A computational study. J Neurophysiol, 112:2580-2596. PMC4233275

Raver, SM, Keller, A (2014) Permanent suppression of cortical oscillations in mice after adolescent exposure to cannabinoids: Receptor mechanisms. Neuropharmacology, 86:161-173. 

Raver, SM, Haughwout, SP, Keller, A (2013) Adolescent cannabinoid exposure permanently suppresses cortical oscillations in adult mice. Neuropsychopharmacology, 38:2338-2347. PMC3799078

Whitt, JL, Masri, R, Pulimood, NS, Keller, A (2013) Pathological activity in mediodorsal thalamus of rats with spinal cord injury pain. J Neurosci, 33:3915-3926. PMC3606547

Okubo, M, Castro, A, Guo, W, Zou, S, Ren, K, Wei, F, Keller, A, Dubner, R (2013) Transition to persistent orofacial pain after nerve injury involves supraspinal serotonin mechanisms. Journal of Neuroscience, 33:5152-5161. 

Masri, R, Keller, A (2012) Chronic pain following spinal cord injury. Adv Exp Med Biol, 760:74-88. PMC3560294

Davoody, L, Quiton, RL, Lucas, JM, Ji, Y, Keller, A, Masri, R (2011) Conditioned place preference reveals tonic pain in an animal model of central pain. J Pain, 12:868-874. PMC3145044

Masri, R, Quiton, RL, Lucas, JM, Murray, PD, Thompson, SM, Keller, A (2009) Zona incerta: a role in central pain. J Neurophysiol, 102:181-191. PMC2712264

Lab Techniques and Equipment

Work in our laboratory takes advantage of multidisciplinary approaches, including in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, calcium and voltage-sensitive dye imaging, extracellular recordings of units, field potential and EEG from awake and anesthetized preparations, neuroanatomical tract tracing and immunocytochemical techniques, and related analytical approaches. I also have a demonstrated record of productive collaboration with mathematicians, physicists, and computational neuroscientists to study neuronal networks.