David McCormick Appointed the Duberg Professor of Neurobiology

David A. McCormick, recently appointed the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neurobiology, studies cellular and network mechanisms of cortical function in the brain.

His laboratory uses a variety of in vitro and in vivo approaches, from patch clamp recording in vivo to two-photon microscopy in vitro. Recently, McCormick and his colleagues have discovered that intracorticol synaptic communication operates through both an analog and digital mode. His lab is currently investigating the mechanisms by which axons and synapses may operate in this regime. In addition, McCormick is examining recurrent networks and their potential contribution to gain modulation, working memory and attention. He also is studying visual cortical plasticity - the mechanisms by which the cerebral cortex generates fast plastic changes in vision that allow for perceptual phenomenon such as filling in of block regions of visual space and adaptation to prolonged stimulation. Finally, McCormick’s lab is exploring the mechanisms of cortical dynamics in the vibrissal system of the awake animal.

McCormick is the co-author of two books, “Thalamus: Vol. 1. Organization and Function” and “Electrophysiology of the Neuron: An Interactive Tutorial.” He is the co-editor of “Thalamus: Vol. 2. Experimental and Clinical Aspects.” In addition, he has written or co-written more than 20 book chapters.

A graduate of Purdue University, McCormick received his Ph.D. in neuroscience at Stanford University. He was a research assistant and postdoctoral fellow at Stanford before coming to Yale in 1987 as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology. He was named a full professor in 1994 and served as director of graduate studies in neurobiology from 1994 to 1999.

The Yale scientist has earned numerous honors for his research, including the John R. Whittier Award from the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, the Donald B. Lindsley Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Behavioral Neuroscience, the Jane and Peter Pattison Award, a Sloan Foundation Award, the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Fund Senior Investigator Award, a McKnight Foundation Investigator Award, the Yngve Zotterman Prize from the Swedish Physiological Society and a Jacob Javits Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health.

McCormick is the associate editor of the journal Cerebral Cortex, among others, and a reviewing editor for Thalamus and Related Systems. He serves on the editorial board of Visual Neuroscience.

He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physiological Society and the International Brain Research Organization.

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