Kirstie A Cummings

Kirstie A Cummings
University of Alabama at Birmingham | UAB

PhD Biophysics/Biochemistry; BA Music; BS Cell and Molecular Biology

About

25
Publications
2,645
Reads
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356
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
352 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
Introduction
Kirstie A Cummings currently works at the Department of Neurobiology , University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kirstie does research in neuroscience and physiology.
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Position
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Genomic Foundations: Clinical Correlates
Description
  • Course Preceptor
April 2016 - present
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2013 - December 2013
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Position
  • Graduate Biochemistry Teaching Assistant (BCH403/503)
Education
September 2011 - March 2016
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Field of study
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics/Neuroscience
September 2007 - May 2011
Binghamton University
Field of study
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology; Music

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Full-text available
N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are the only neurotransmitter receptors whose activation requires two distinct agonists. Heterotetramers of two GluN1 and two GluN2 subunits, NMDA receptors are broadly distributed in the central nervous system, where they mediate excitatory currents in response to synaptic glutamate release. Pore opening depen...
Article
Full-text available
N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are glutamate- and glycine-gated channels composed of two GluN1 and two GluN2 or/and GluN3 subunits. GluN3A expression is developmentally regulated, and changes in this normal pattern of expression, which occur in several brain disorders, alter synaptic maturation and function by unknown mechanisms. Uniquely wi...
Article
Full-text available
A brain network comprising the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala plays important roles in developmentally-regulated cognitive and emotional processes. However, very little is known about the maturation of mPFC-amygdala circuitry. We conducted anatomical tracing of mPFC projections and optogenetic interrogation of their synaptic connectio...
Article
Full-text available
Theories stipulate that memories are encoded within networks of cortical projection neurons. Conversely, GABAergic interneurons are thought to function primarily to inhibit projection neurons and thereby impose network gain control, an important but purely modulatory role. Here we show in male mice that associative fear learning potentiates synapti...
Article
Neurons activated by learning have been ascribed the unique potential to encode memory, but the functional contribution of discrete cell types remains poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear whether learning engages specific GABAergic interneurons and, if so, whether they differ functionally from interneurons recruited by other experiences....
Article
Full-text available
Prefrontal cortex (PFC) inhibitory microcircuits regulate the gain and timing of pyramidal neuron firing, coordinate neural ensemble interactions, and gate local and long-range neural communication to support adaptive cognition and contextually tuned behavior. Accordingly, perturbations of PFC inhibitory microcircuits are thought to underlie dysreg...
Article
Full-text available
The prefrontal cortex coordinates experience-dependent alterations in behavioral states. In this issue of Neuron, Joffe et al. provide a novel mechanism mediating acute stress-induced biasing of information routing through the mPFC, involving mGlu5-mediated plasticity on SST interneurons and feedforward inhibition shaping input into the mPFC.
Article
Full-text available
A novel clinical assay for the detection and quantitation of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was adapted from an in-house, research-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Development and validation were performed under regulatory guidelines, and the test obtained emergency use authorization...
Article
The paradigm of fear conditioning is largely responsible for our current understanding of how memories are encoded at the cellular level. Its most fundamental underlying mechanism is considered to be plasticity of synaptic connections between excitatory projection neurons (PNs). However, recent studies suggest that while PNs execute critical memory...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neurons preferentially activated by learning have been ascribed the unique potential to encode memory. However, it remains unclear which genetically-defined cell types are recruited as part of such an ensemble, or what role discrete subpopulations play in behavior. Here we show that fear conditioning activates a heterogeneous neural ensemble in the...
Article
Memory is a dynamic process that is continuously regulated by both synaptic and intrinsic neural mechanisms. While numerous studies have shown that synaptic plasticity is important in various types and phases of learning and memory, neuronal intrinsic excitability has received relatively less attention, especially regarding the dynamic nature of me...
Preprint
Theories stipulate that memories are encoded within networks of cortical projection neurons (PNs). Conversely, GABAergic interneurons (INs) are thought to function primarily to inhibit PNs and thereby impose network gain control, an important but purely modulatory role. However, we found that associative fear learning potentiates synaptic transmiss...
Article
Studies show that neuropeptide-receptor systems in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) play an important role in the pathology of anxiety and other mood disorders. Since GPR171, a recently deorphanized receptor for the abundant neuropeptide BigLEN, is expressed in the BLA, we investigated its role in fear and anxiety-like behaviors. To carry out these s...
Article
N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors assembled from GluN1 and GluN3 subunits are unique in that they form glycine-gated excitatory channels that are insensitive to glutamate and NMDA. Alternative splicing of the GluN1 subunit mRNA results in eight variants with regulated expression patterns and post translational modifications. Here we investigate...
Article
During development, neural crest cells are induced by signaling events at the neural plate border of all vertebrate embryos. Initially arising within the central nervous system, neural crest cells subsequently undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition to migrate into the periphery, where they differentiate into diverse cell types. Here we pro...
Article
Full-text available
Like all neurotransmitter-gated channels, in response to agonist binding, ionotropic glutamate receptors produce electrical signals whose amplitudes and durations reflect intramolecular transitions between nonconducting (closed) and conducting (open) receptor conformations. Thus, delineating the reaction mechanism of synaptic channels represents an...
Article
Full-text available
Among glutamate-gated channels, NMDA receptors produce currents that subside with unusually slow kinetics and this feature is essential to the physiology of central excitatory synapses. Relative to the homologous AMPA and kainate receptors, NMDA receptors have additional intersubunit contacts in the ligand-binding domain (LBD), which occur within b...
Article
GluN1 and GluN3 subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor family form tetrameric cation-permeable channels that are gated by glycine alone and are insensitive to glutamate. They are expressed primarily during early development and their role in cellular physiology is unknown. One hypothesis states that their tonic activation by basal levels of...
Article
Full-text available
Ion channel proteins are universal devices for fast communication across biological membranes. The temporal signature of the ionic flux they generate depends on properties intrinsic to each channel protein as well as the mechanism by which it is generated and controlled and represents an important area of current research. Information about the ope...

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