Biography

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Julian Meeks started his path towards neurobiology as an undergraduate studying biomedical engineering (B.S. in BME, Saint Louis University, 2001). His interests turned to neurophysiology following an influential summer internship in the laboratory of Jeffrey Diamond, Ph.D. at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in 2000. He jumped head-first into neurophysiology research, and received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Washington University in 2006, working in the laboratory of Steven Mennerick, Ph.D. His Ph.D. research focused on the important role of the axon initial segment in generating and maintaining neuronal action potential signaling during healthy and pathophysiological states.

Dr. Meeks' long-standing interests in neuronal computation were the focus led him to pursue postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Timothy Holy, Ph.D. 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 that strongly influences mouse social and reproductive behaviors, including territorial aggression, mating, maternal behavior, and predator avoidance. In his postdoc work, Dr. Meeks developed physiological methods that allowed him to determine how neurons in the AOS extract information from the complicated blends of olfactory cues that animals encounter every day.

Dr. Meeks joined the faculty at UT Southwestern in the Department of Neuroscience in 2012.  His laboratory continues to investigate mechanisms by which the AOS influences social/reproductive behaviors. The Meeks Laboratory has several areas of interest, including identification of new kinds of pheromones (within-species chemosignals) and kairomones (across-species chemosignals). In 2016, Wayne Doyle, a graduate student in the laboratory, discovered that bile acids in animal feces are a new class of AOS ligands. Other major research interests include experience-dependent social learning, neural circuit organization, and the role of interneurons in information processing.

Education

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

Research Interest

  • Bile acids
  • Electrophysiology
  • Innate behaviors
  • 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
  • Social learning

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Ex vivo preparations of the intact vomeronasal organ and accessory olfactory bulb.
Doyle WI, Hammen GF, Meeks JP J Vis Exp 2014 90
Electrical Recordings from the Accessory Olfactory Bulb in VNO-AOB Ex Vivo Preparations.
Meeks JP, Holy TE Methods Mol. Biol. 2013 1068 237-46
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
Action potential initiation and propagation in CA3 pyramidal axons.
Meeks JP, Mennerick S J. Neurophysiol. 2007 May 97 5 3460-72
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

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)