Faculty Profile: Beier, Kevin T

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Faculty Information Lab Information (Packet Type, Course Title, & Department) Location
Beier, Kevin T
Lab Contact:
Kevin Beier
kbeier@uci.edu
949 824-1083
A NEURAL CIRCUITS
Department: Physiology & Biophysics
Medical Sciences D

Research Description

My research is focused on identifying how experience modulates activity dynamics in neural circuits, both acutely and chronically. I aim to develop new methods and use these in combination with modern techniques such as optogenetics and in-vivo calcium imaging to understand the sources of adaptive and maladaptive plasticity that drive normal and pathophysiological behaviors. These include reward/aversion processing in normal appetitive behaviors, drug addiction, neurodegeneration, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. I will also employ cutting-edge viral-genetic methods to map brain state-dependent activity in connected ensembles such as those driving the affective components of chronic pain, and use this information to infer how our brain state drives us to perform particular behaviors. In addition, I aim to take novel approaches to interrogating the sources of individual behavioral variation in neuropsychiatric conditions such as addiction, anxiety, and depression. Lastly, we are developing a suite of molecular methods to modulate memories with high spatiotemporal resolution. This will enable cell type-specific and temporally-controlled modulation of specific aspects of behavior, which will enable us to modify and "cure" pathophysiological behaviors and understand more about the basic neurobiology underlying those behaviors.

Requirements to Participate

Be really motivated to get engaged in the research. A certain time commitment (>12 hours/week) is required, but motivation and passion for learning is key. 3 - 4 hours per unit

1 year Commitment.
2 year commitment.

Minimum 3 units.

Faculty Means of Evaluation

Attendance: 30Pts (working assigned hours, being on time and communicating with supervisor)
Lab Work: 20Pts (quality, accuracy, reproducibility)
Communication: 30Pts (Intellectual curiosity/engagement, written/Oral reports, questions and discussion with mentor)
Lab citizenship: 20Pts (organization, clean up and follow through)
Total: 100 points