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Alan Gelperin


Emeritus Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Senior Lecturer, Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University


Ph.D., Biology; University of Pennsylvania

Research Summary

I study odor information processing and memory storage using biological, computational and electronic approaches. My lab studies biological olfaction using mammalian systems whose central odor processing networks reliably compute complex predictive relationships between odor stimuli and rewards. We record in vivo from mitral cells in the mouse olfactory bulb during odor discrimination and odor learning to identify learning-induced alterations in mitral cell activity. In vitro studies of a slice preparation of the olfactory bulb allow us to test biophysical models of mitral cell plasticity. Patch and optical recording methods are utilized to understand the role of oscillatory dynamics and neurogenesis in odor recognition and memory storage. Computational methods generate biophysically-based network models of the olfactory system to identify general design principles. With collaborators in electronic olfaction we work on developing new odor sensor arrays, sensor circuits and algorithms to develop a new generation of electronic olfactory systems able to solve hard problems like finding buried land mines or contribute to disease diagnosis.


systems neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, learning and memory, olfactory information processing, neuronal biophysics, olfactometry, optical recording, elctronic olfaction, electronic chemosensors, neurophysiological methods, odor sensing for disease diagnosis, neuroethology

Recent Publications

Gelperin, A. (2014) Comparative chemosensory cognition. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 190.

Gelperin, A. (2013) Associate memory mechanisms in terrestial slugs and snails. In: Benjamen, P.; Menzel, R. (Eds.) Invertebrate Learning and Memory: Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience. Academic Press. pp. 280-290.

Reisert, J.; Golden, G.J.; Matsumura, K.; Smear, M.; Rinberg, D.; Gelperin, A. (2013) Comparing thoracic and intra-nasal pressure transients to monitor active odor sampling during odor-guided decision making in the mouse. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 221, 8-14.

Solari, P.; Stoffolano, J.G.; Fitzpatrick, J.; Gelperin, A.; et al. (2013) Regulatory mechanisms and the role of calcium and potassium channels controlling supercontractile crop muscles in adult Phormia regina. Journal of Insect Physiology, 59, 942-952.

Khamis, S.; Johnson, A.T.C.; Preti, G.; Kwak, J.; Gelperin, A. (2012) DNA-decorated carbon nanotube-based FETs as ultrasensitive chemical sensors: Discrimination of homologs, structural and optical isomers. AIP Advances, 2, 022110.

Liscia, A.M.; Solari, P.; Gibbons, S.T.; Gelperin, A.; Stoffolano, J.G. (2012) Effect of serotonin on the supercontractile muscles of the blowfly crop. Journal of Insect Physiology, 58, 356-366.

Reisert, J.; Gelperin, A. (2012) When does more give less in the olfactory system? Physiology News, 86, 18-21.

Goldsmith, B.; Mitala Jr., J.J.; Lerner, M.; Josue, J.; Abaffy, T.; Baybert, T.H.; Khamis, S.; Jones, R.; Rhodes, P.; Sligar, S.; Luetje, C.W.; Gelperin, A.; Brand, J.; Discher, B.; Johnson, A.T.C. (2011) Biomimetic chemical sensors using nanoelectronic read out of olfactory receptor binding to odorants. ACS Nano, 5, 5408-5416.

Gelperin, A. (2010) Human olfactory perception. In: Hermann, A. (Ed.) The Chemistry and Biology of Volatiles. John Wiley Publishing Co. 253-290.

Johnson, A. T. C.; Kahmis, S. M.; Preti, G.; Kwak, J. and Gelperin, A. (2010) DNA-coated nanosensors for breath analysis. IEEE Sensor Journal, 10, 159-166.

McQuade, L. E.; Ma, J.; Lowe, G.; Ghatpande, A.; Gelperin, A. and Lippard, S. J. (2010) Visualization of nitric oxide production in the mouse main olfactory bulb by a cell-trappable copper(II) fluorescent probe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107, 8525-8530.