Columbia University Medical Center

DEPARTMENT OF NEUROSCIENCE

Robert D. Hawkins, PhD

Robert D. Hawkins, PhD
  • Department of Neuroscience
  • Department of Psychiatry
    Division of Neurobiology and Behavior
  • Professor of Clinical Neuroscience (in Psychiatry)

We are investigating cellular mechanisms of learning and memory in two experimental systems: the gill- and siphon-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia, and long-term potentiation in mammalian hippocampus. We are also exploring possible relationships between the mechanisms in these two systems.

Our studies in Aplysia have focused on two simple forms of learning: sensitization and classical conditioning. We use electrophysiological, imaging, and genetic methods to investigate cellular mechanisms of these forms of learning in isolated cell culture. We also study cellular mechanisms during learning in dissected preparations, in which it is possible to relate more directly the mechanisms to behavior.

We have also focused on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, a long-lasting form of synaptic plasticity that is thought to be involved in mammalian learning and memory. We use electrophysiological, imaging, and genetic methods in hippocampal slices and in dissociated cell culture to investigate cellular mechanisms of LTP.

Primary Lab Locations

NYSPI-Kolb Research Building

40 Haven Avenue
New York, NY 10032

Phone:
(646) 774-6836
Email:
rdh1@cumc.columbia.edu

Research Interests

Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Synapses and circuits

Lab Members

Publications

  • Jin, I., Puthanveettil, S., Udo, H., Karl, K., Kandel, E.R., and Hawkins, R.D. (2012a). Spontaneous transmitter release is critical for the induction of long-term and intermediate-term facilitation in Aplysia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109: 9131-9136.
  • Jin, I., Udo, H., Rayman, J.B., Puthanveettil, S., Kandel, E.R., and Hawkins, R.D. (2012b). Spontaneous transmitter release recruits postsynaptic mechanisms of long-term and intermediate-term facilitation in Aplysia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109: 9137-9142.
  • Antonova, I., Lu, F.-M., Zablow, L., Udo, H., and Hawkins, R.D. (2009). Rapid and long-lasting increase in sites for synapse assembly during late-phase potentiation in rat hippocampal neurons. PLoS ONE 4: e7690. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007690.
  • Antonov, I., Ha, T., Antonova, I., Moroz, L.L., and Hawkins, R.D. (2007). Role of nitric oxide in classical conditioning of siphon withdrawal in Aplysia. J. Neurosci. 27: 10993-11002.
  • Wang, H.-G., Lu, F.-M., Jin, I., Udo, H., Kandel, E.R., de Vente, J., Walter, U., Lohmann, S.M., Hawkins, R.D., and Antonova, I. (2005). Presynaptic and postsynaptic roles of NO, cGK, and RhoA in long-lasting potentiation and aggregation of synaptic proteins. Neuron 45: 389-403.
  • Antonov, I., Antonova, I., Kandel, E.R., and Hawkins, R. D. (2003). Activity-dependent presynaptic facilitation and Hebbian LTP are both required and interact during classical conditioning in Aplysia. Neuron 37: 135-147.
  • Antonova, I., Arancio, O., Trillat, A.-C., Wang, H.-G., Zablow, L., Udo, H., Kandel, E.R., and Hawkins, R.D. (2001). Rapid increase in clusters of presynaptic proteins at onset of long-lasting potentiation. Science 294: 1547-1550.