Madhu Kannan

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience


Research Interests:

Animal cognition is a complex dynamic process that is tightly controlled by feedforward and feedback mechanisms and involves the concerted action of multiple distinct excitatory and inhibitory cell classes in the brain. Modern genetic and optical tools enable the targeted identification, stimulation, or recording of a single cell class at a time. However, how the activation dynamics of multiple cell classes converge in real-time and how these time-varying interactions impact network output to influence the cognitive outcome are unknown. Using single neuron, single-spike resolution, multipopulation voltage imaging in mice, during selective attention paradigms adapted from primates, my research program will examine the synergistic dynamics of targeted cell classes in cognitive function.


  • Kannan M*, Vasan G*, Haziza S*, Huang C, Chrapkiewicz R, Luo J, Cardin JA, Schnitzer MJ, Pieribone VA. Dual polarity voltage imaging reveals subthreshold dynamics and concurrent spiking patterns of multiple neuron-types. BioRxiv, doi: 10.1101/2021.10.13.463730. Under revision in Science. *Equal contribution.
  • Kannan M, Vasan G, Pieribone VA. Optimizing strategies for developing genetically encoded voltage indicators. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 2019;13:53.
  • Kannan M*, Vasan G*, Huang C, Haziza S, Li JZ, H Inan H, Schnitzer MJ, Pieribone VA. Fast, in vivo voltage imaging using a red fluorescent indicator. Nature Methods. 2018;15(12):1108–1116. *Equal contribution. Highlighted in Yale News.
  • Kannan M, Gross GG, Arnold DB, Higley MJ. Visual deprivation during the critical period enhances layer 2/3 GABAergic inhibition in mouse V1. Journal of Neuroscience. 2016;36(22):5914–5919.
  • Matz A, Lee S, Domeyer NS, Zanini D, Holubowska A, Kannan M, Farnworth M, Jahn O, Gopfert MC, Stegmüller J. Regulation of neuronal survival and morphology by the E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF157. Cell Death and Differentiation. 2015;22(4):626–642.
  • Mukherjee C, Holubowska A, Domeyer,MMitkovski NS, S Lee S, Kannan M, Matz A, Vadhvani M, Stegmüller J. Loss of the neuron-specific f-box protein FBXO41 models an ataxia-like phenotype in mice with neuronal migration defects and degeneration in the cerebellum. Journal of Neuroscience. 2015;35(23):8701–8717.
  • Kannan M, Lee S, Domeyer NS, Stegmüller J. The E3 ligase Cdh1-anaphase promoting complex operates upstream of the E3 ligase Smurf1 in the control of axon growth. Development. 2012;139(19):3600– 3612.
  • Kannan M, Lee S, Domeyer NS, Nakazawa T, Stegmüller J. p250GAP is a novel player in the Cdh1-APC/Smurf1 pathway of axon growth regulation. PLoS One, 7(11), 2012.