Julian Meeks, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department: Neuroscience

Graduate Programs: Neuroscience

Biography

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Julian Meeks received a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Saint Louis University in 2001.  After serving in the laboratory of Jeffrey Diamond, PhD at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS, part of the National Institutes of Health) in 2000, he was inspired to pursue a PhD in the neurosciences.  He received his PhD in neuroscience from Washington University in 2006, where he was supported by an individual Kirschstein NRSA grant from the NINDS.  During his PhD research in Steven Mennerick's laboratory, Dr. Meeks identified several important roles of the axon initial segment (AIS) in generating and maintaining action potential signaling during healthy and pathophysiological states.

Dr. Meeks pursued his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Timothy Holy, PhD, where he was supported by individual fellowships from the W.M. Keck Foundation and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD, also part of the NIH).  In his postdoctoral research, Dr. Meeks developed ex vivo procedures for studying difficult-to-access circuits in the mouse brain.  He applied these procedures to study communication between neurons in the mouse accessory olfactory system (AOS), an olfactory pathway capable of affecting male-male aggression, maternal behavior, and mating.  These studies identified several functional motifs and integration strategies used by AOS neurons to extract salient information from a complicated olfactory environment.

Dr. Meeks joined the faculty at UT Southwestern in the Department of Neuroscience in 2012.  His laboratory will investigate mechanisms underlying so-called "intrinsic" behaviors elicited in mice through the accessory olfactory pathway.  Dr. Meeks is especially interested in identifying how inhibitory interneurons in this pathway modify sensory information as it is processed in AOS circuits and, ultimately, how those modifications lead to changes in social and reproductive behaviors.

Education

Undergraduate Saint Louis University Central Office (2001), Biomedical Engineering
Graduate School Washington University (2006), Cognition and Neuroscience

Research Interests

  • Electrophysiology
  • Interneuron functional diversity
  • Mechanisms of information transformation in neural circuits
  • Mechanisms of sensory processing in mammalian olfaction
  • Neural control of innate social/reproductive behaviors
  • Optical Imaging
  • Reciprocal synapses

Publications

Featured Publications Legend

Featured Publications

An ex vivo preparation of the intact mouse vomeronasal organ and accessory olfactory bulb.

Meeks JP, Holy TE J. Neurosci. Methods 2009 Mar 177 2 440-7

Pavlov's moth: olfactory learning and spike timing-dependent plasticity.

Meeks JP, Holy TE Nat. Neurosci. 2008 Oct 11 10 1126-7

Astrocyte membrane responses and potassium accumulation during neuronal activity.

Meeks JP, Mennerick S Hippocampus 2007 17 11 1100-8

Action potential fidelity during normal and epileptiform activity in paired soma-axon recordings from rat hippocampus.

Meeks JP, Jiang X, Mennerick S J. Physiol. (Lond.) 2005 Jul 566 Pt 2 425-41

Selective effects of potassium elevations on glutamate signaling and action potential conduction in hippocampus.

Meeks JP, Mennerick S J. Neurosci. 2004 Jan 24 1 197-206

Feeding hungry neurons: astrocytes deliver food for thought.

Meeks JP, Mennerick S Neuron 2003 Jan 37 2 187-9

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Honors/Awards

  • K99/R00 Pathways to Independence Award (NIDCD/NIH)
    (2011)
  • James L. O'Leary Prize for Research in Neuroscience
    (2010)
  • Rulth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship (NIDCD/NIH)
    (2009)
  • W.M. Keck Foundation Fellowship in Molecular Medicine
    (2008)
  • Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Fellow
    (2007)
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship (NINDS/NIH)
    (2004)
  • NIH Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program
    (2000)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Association for Chemoreception Sciences (2010-2012)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2002-2012)