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(267) 519-4895
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Alan Gelperin


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

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.

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.

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.

Gelperin, A. and Ghatpande, A. (2009) Neural basis of olfactory perception. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1170, 277-285.

Ghatpande, A. S. and Gelperin, A. (2009) Presynaptic muscarinic receptors enhance glutamate release at the mitral/tufted to granule cell dendrodendritic synapse in the rat main olfactory bulb. Journal of Neurophysiology, 101, 2052-2061.

Preti, G.; Thaler, E.; Hanson, C. W.; Troy, M.; Eades, J. and Gelperin, A. (2009) Volatile compounds characteristic of sinus-related bacteria and infected sinus mucus: analysis by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 877, 2011-2018.

Gelperin, A. and Johnson, A. T. C. (2008) Nanotube-Based Sensor Arrays for Clinical Breath Analysis. Journal of Breath Research, 2, 037015.

Gelperin, A. (2008) Neural computations with mammalian infochemicals. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 34, 928-942.

Lowe, G.; Buerk, D. G.; Ma, J. and Gelperin, A. (2008) Tonic and stimulus-evoked nitric oxide production in the mouse olfactory bulb. Neuroscience, 153, 842-850.