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Principal Investigator

Photo of Soohyun Lee, PhD, principal investigator of the Unit on Functional Neural Circuits of NIMH IRP.

Soohyun Lee, Ph.D.

Unit on Functional Neural Circuits


Dr. Soohyun Lee received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied motor modulation of cortico-thalamic circuits in the rodent somatosensory system with Dr. Dan Simons. During a postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Bernardo Rudy and Gord Fishell at New York University, she worked on the diversity and functional circuitry of GABAergic neurons in the neocortex. Dr. Lee joined NIMH as a principal investigator of the Unit on Functional Neural Circuits in the summer of 2016.

Research Interests

Our research seeks a mechanistic understanding of reciprocal interactions between sensation and action as function of internal brain states.

We address this problem at multiple levels of analysis, from synapses and circuits through behavior. We use the rodent vibrissa-related sensorimotor system, which provides an ethologically relevant and computationally rigorous model of sensorymotor processing. We apply diverse techniques to monitor and manipulate activity in genetically identified populations of neurons.

We are currently interested in how internally generated brain activity interacts with sensation at the level of specific circuits and neuronal types with emphasis on different types of cortical GABAergic neurons. Our ongoing projects aim to delineate the functional connectivity among related brain areas, to identify the behavioral relevance of these circuits, to understand the computations these circuits perform, and to uncover their developmental specificity and plasticity.

Selected Publications

Strategies and Tools for Combinatorial Targeting of GABAergic Neurons in Mouse Cerebral Cortex. He M, Tucciarone J, Lee S, Nigro MJ, Kim Y, Levine JM, Kelly SM, Krugikov I, Wu P, Chen Y, Gong L, Hou Y, Osten P, Rudy B, Huang ZJ. Neuron. 2016 Sep 21;91(6):1228-43 PMID: 27618674.

GABAergic Interneurons in the Neocortex: From Cellular Properties to Circuits. Tremblay R, Lee S, Rudy B. Neuron. 2016 Jul 20;91(2):260-92 PMID: 27477017.

A disinhibitory circuit mediates motor integration in the somatosensory cortex. Lee S, Kruglikov I, Huang ZJ, Fishell G, Rudy B. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Nov;16(11):1662-70 PMID: 24097044.

Three groups of interneurons account for nearly 100% of neocortical GABAergic neurons. Rudy B, Fishell G, Lee S, Hjerling-Leffler J. Dev Neurobiol. 2011 Jan 1;71(1):45-6 PMID: 21154909.

The largest group of superficial neocortical GABAergic interneurons expresses ionotropic serotonin receptors. Lee S, Hjerling-Leffler J, Zagha E, Fishell G, Rudy B. J Neurosci. 2010 Dec 15;30(50):16796-808 PMID: 21159951.

Motor modulation of afferent somatosensory circuits. Lee S, Carvell GE, Simons DJ. Nat Neurosci. 2008 Dec;11(12):1430-8 PMID: 19011625.

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Phone: +1 301 402 6777