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Kanold, Patrick

Patrick Kanold
1116 Bioscience Research Building

Research Interests 

Early brain development, especially how transient and other early circuits shape the functional organization of the brain and how these circuits control the critical period.

The mammalian brain contains billions of neurons that in primary sensory areas provide an exquisite representation of the external world. These primary sensory areas contain topographic maps of sensory stimulus features (i.e. ocular dominance and orientation in visual cortex or tonotopy in auditory cortex). This functional architecture is not hard-wired, but its development depends on neuronal activity and sensory experience. Our research focuses on answering the critical questions of how this architecture emerges and how experience shapes this process.

To answer these questions, we investigate the circuits of the developing and adult brain from a single cell level to large assemblies of neurons by using advanced imaging and electrophysiological methods such as in vivo and in vitro 2-photon Ca2+-imaging and patch clamp recordings. We combine these techniques with optogenetic methods to selectively activate and silence specific microcircuits. We integrate this information in large-scale computational models of the developing brain in order to understand what role every circuit plays in development. 

Our work to date has identified subplate neurons as a crucial component of the developing thalamocortical system. Without these neurons cortical development does not proceed normally. We thus investigate how these neurons promote normal development and plasticity of the cerebral cortex and if there are other circuits present at other ages that play similar functions.


Dipl.Ing. (MSE), Electrical Engineering, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, 1994
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 2000  Mentors: Eric Young, Paul Manis
Post-Doctoral, Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 2000-2005  Mentor: Carla Shatz
Instructor, Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 2005-2007
Assistant Professor, Biology, UMd, College Park, 2007-2012
Associate Professor, Biology, UMd, College Park, 2012-

Honors and Awards 

Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (Oak Ridge Associated Universities), 2007
NARSAD Junior Investigator Award (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation), 2009
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, 2010
Burt Evans Award, NOHR 2013

Selected Publications 

For a current list of Dr. Kanold's publications, please visit the publications page of his website.

Related News 

Five ISR faculty part of $8 million NIH grant to combat hearing loss in older people
Multidisciplinary research will examine strategies to improve communication challenges. October 12, 2017

BBI Holds 2017 Seed Grant Symposium
Over 115 people attend symposium featuring work and accomplishments of BBI Seed Grant Awardees for FY16/FY17. September 25, 2017

BBI FY17 Seed Grant Winners Announced
Nine projects selected for funding. May 12, 2017

Kanold study shows autism may begin early in brain development
Brains of mice with autism-like symptoms develop neural defects when first circuits take shape. February 8, 2017

BBI Seed Grant winners announced
Five projects selected for inaugural round of funding. February 26, 2016

Bergbreiter, Kanold part of new MURI research teams
University of Maryland researchers are involved with six of the 22 MURI teams just announced. June 9, 2015

UMD's Kanold and Losert, NIMH's Plenz receive $1.7M BRAIN Grant
Researchers will investigate how crowds of neurons process sensory information. September 30, 2014

Kanold study in Neuron: A short stay in darkness may heal hearing woes
Simulated blindness gives adult mice sharper hearing, researchers find February 6, 2014

Kanold, Krueger awarded MPower seed grant to study early pregnancy brain development and autism
They will test the hypothesis that valproic acid-induced errors during fetal development cause autistic behavior. September 1, 2013

Patrick Kanold wins NOHR Burt Evans Award
The award honors excellence, commitment and achievement in auditory research by a young scientist. February 18, 2013

Kanold group research published in PNAS
Research suggests a unique mechanism for regulating plasticity in the visual cortex. August 16, 2011

Telluride newspaper writes about Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop
ISR faculty, staff, students key to the workshop's planning and organization. July 18, 2011

Shamma, Kanold receive DURIP funding
The DoD DURIP program supports the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for defense research. June 9, 2011

Patrick Kanold is named Sloan Research Fellow
Kanold is the sole winner of the early career award in Maryland this year. February 17, 2010

Researchers' Study Reveals Surprises about How the Brain Processes Sound
Profs. Shamma and Kanold present findings of auditory cortex research in Nature Neuroscience. February 1, 2010

ISR appoints three new assistant research scientists
Bandyopadhyay, Depireux, Sterbing-D’Angelo to join faculty in July. June 25, 2009

Shamma, Kanold receive DURIP award for advanced imaging technology
The researchers will purchase a a laser scanning 2-photon system. May 1, 2008

Chopra, Cleaveland, Kanold join ISR this fall
Faculty bring expertise in control, neuroscience and concurrent and distributed systems. August 14, 2007