Jon Pierce-Shimomura

Pierce-Shimomura, Jon
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience



Main Office: NMS 5.116
Phone: (512) 232-4137

Alternate Office: NMS 5.234
Phone: 512-471-2164

Mailing Address:
The University of Texas at Austin
Section of Neurobiology
1 University Station C7350
Austin, TX 78712-0248

Research Lab Students:
    Graduate Student
  • Crisp, Ashley - Graduate Student
  • Davis, Scott - Graduate Student
  • Russell, Josh - Graduate Student
  • Topper, Stephen - Graduate Student
    Post Doctoral
  • Iyer, Sangeetha - Post Doctoral
  • Vidal-Gadea, Andres - Post Doctoral
  • Scott, Luisa - Staff
  • Young, Layla - Staff

  • Research Summary:

    We are currently focused on two issues: 1) What are the underlying causes and potential cures for Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease? We hope to help create the first medicines that effectively treat individuals with these conditions so that they are empowered to reach their full potential in society. 2) How do different drugs such as ethanol and anesthetics affect our nervous system? The molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects for many drugs of benefit and abuse are often unclear in mouse models. By using the worm as a minimal system, we can rapidly identify which uncharacterized and novel molecules are responsible for behavioral responses to drugs. To study the genetic basis of behavior and disease, we combine genetic screens to identify genes involved in a behavior, in vivo electrophysiology and calcium imaging to study the function of identified neurons in the behavior, and image analysis tools to quantify the behavior.

    Research Images:

    Profile pic#2

    2011Vidal-Gadea AG, Topper S, Young L, Crisp A, Kressin L, Elbel E, Maples T, Brauner M, Erbguth K, Axelrod A, Gottschalk A, Siegel D, Pierce-Shimomura JT, Caenorhabditis elegans selects distinct crawling and swimming gaits via dopamine and serotonin, PNAS 108(42):17504-9: view.
    2009Kim H, Pierce-Shimomura JT, Oh JH, Johnson BE, Goodman MB, McIntire SL , The Dystrophin Complex Controls BK Channel Localization and Muscle Activity in Caenorhabditis elegans, PLoS Genetics 5:.
    2008Pierce-Shimomura, J. T., Chen, B. L., Mun, J. J., Ho, R., Sarkis, R., McIntire, S. L. , Genetic analysis of crawling and swimming locomotory patterns in C. elegans, Proc Nat Acad Sci.
    2006Dunn N. A., Pierce-Shimomura, J. T., Conery, J. S., Lockery, S. R, Clustered Neural Dynamics identify motifs for chemotaxis in Caenorhabditis elegans, IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence. 2011:.
    2005Pierce-Shimomura, J. T., Dores, M., Lockery, S. R., Analysis of turning bias on chemotaxis in C. elegans, J Experimental Biology 208:4727-4733.
    2004Dunn N. A., Lockery, S. R., Pierce-Shimomura, J. T., Conery, J. S., A neural network model of chemotaxis predicts functions of synaptic connections in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, J Comput Neuroscience 17:137-147.
    2003Davies, A. G., Pierce-Shimomura, J. T., Kim, H., VanHoven, M. K., Thiele, T. R., Bonci, A., Bargmann, C. I., and McIntire, S. L., A central role of the BK potassium channel in behavioral responses to ethanol in C. elegans, Cell 115:655-666.
    2001Pierce-Shimomura, J. T., Faumont, S., Gaston, M. R., Pearson, B. J., and Lockery, S. R., The homeobox gene lim-6 is required for distinct chemosensory representations in C. elegans, Nature 410:694-698.
    1999Pierce-Shimomura, J.T., Morse, T.M., and Lockery, S.R. , The fundamental role of pirouettes in C. elegans chemotaxis, J Neurosci 19:9557-9569.

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