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Asaf Keller, PhD

Interim Chair, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology

Academic Title:

Professor

Primary Appointment:

Anatomy and Neurobiology

Administrative Title:

Chair of the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology

Location:

HSF-I, 280G

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-8912

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

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

Highlighted Publications

Alipio, JB, Haga, C, Fox, ME, Arakawa, K, Balaji, R, Cramer, N, Lobo, MK, Keller, A (2021) Perinatal fentanyl exposure leads to long-lasting impairments in somatosensory circuit function and behavior. J Neurosci, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2470-20.2020

Uddin, O, Anderson, M, Smith, J, Masri, R, Keller, A (2021) Parabrachial complex processes dura inputs through a direct trigeminal ganglion-to-parabrachial connection. Neurobiology of Pain, 9:100060.

Uddin, O, Jenne, C, Fox, ME, Arakawa, K, Keller, A, Cramer, N (2021) Divergent profiles of fentanyl withdrawal and associated pain in mice and rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 200:173077.

Cramer, N, Silva-Cardoso, G, Masri, R, Keller, A (2021) Control of synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability in the parabrachial nucleus. Neurobiology of Pain, 9:100057.

Alipio, JB, Brockett, AT, Fox, ME, Tennyson, SS, deBettencourt, CA, El-Metwally, D, Francis, NA, Kanold, PO, Lobo, MK, Roesch, MR, Keller, A (2020) Enduring consequences of perinatal fentanyl exposure in mice. Addict Biol, e12895.

Raver, C, Uddin, O, Ji, Y, Li, Y, Cramer, N, Jenne, C, Morales, M, Masri, R, Keller, A (2020) An Amygdalo-Parabrachial Pathway Regulates Pain Perception and Chronic Pain. J Neurosci, 40:3424-3442. PMC7178908

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.