Omar Ahmed, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Psychology & Neuroscience

4040 East Hall
530 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043

The Ahmed lab studies and repairs neuropsychiatric circuits. Working with patients and with transgenic rodent models, we focus on how normal neural circuits go wrong in epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and mental health disorders. In parallel, we are engineering all-optical and autonomous closed-loop therapies that target very specific subsets of malfunctioning neurons. We use a range of methods in our lab. In addition to large-scale electrophysiology in both rodents and humans, we use two-photon laser-scanning imaging and photoactivation techniques to record and alter neuronal activity as rodents navigate custom-designed virtual reality environments. Finally, we work on novel ways to analyze and understand our immensely large electrophysiology and imaging datasets. Specific projects in the lab include: 1) Understanding how small subsets of neurons control seizures in both humans and transgenic animal models; 2) Analysis of large electrophysiology datasets to better understand the behavioral correlates of brain rhythms; 3) Programming of custom virtual reality environments for both humans and mice; 4) Engineering real-time, all-optical, closed-loop strategies to control the activity of overactive neurons; 5) Using a new lumigenetic tool, bioluminescence-driven optogenetics, to engineer autonomous, non-invasive, within-cell control of neuronal activity.