Timothy Wiggin

Ph.D. 2015


Thesis Title:

The Spinal Locomotor Circuit of the Larval Zebrafish: Anatomical Organization and Functional Components

Current Position:

Postdoctoral Fellow, Brandeis University

Undergraduate Institution and Major/Degree:

  • University of Michigan, B.S., Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2004.

Major Advisor(s):

Research Description:

Vertebrate locomotion is coordinated by neural circuits in the spinal cord called central pattern generators (CPGs). Spinal cord injury (SCI) can result in severe disruption of the spinal CPG, and repairing the spinal cord following SCI will require an understanding of the locomotor CPG. My work is focused on the role of a specific group of ventral neurons in the CPG by measuring their necessity locomotion, pattern of activity, and intrinsic membrane properties.

Lab Rotations:

  • James Ashe
  • Tay Netoff

Courses Taken Beyond the Core Courses:

  • PHSL 5201 - Computational Neuroscience I
  • STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis
  • EE 5621 - Physical Optics
  • GCD 8008 - Mammalian Gene Transfer

Committee Members:

  • Paulo Kofuji - Chair
  • Mark Masino - Advisor
  • Tay Netoff
  • Teresa Nick
  • Ronald Calabrese

Conferences Attended and Presentations:

  • CNS 2012 - Summer 2012
  • Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, 2009, 2011

Selected Publications and Presentations:


  • Montgomery JE, Wiggin TD, Rivera-Perez LM, Lillesaar C, Masino MA. Intraspinal serotonergic neurons consist of two, temporally distinct populations in developing zebrafish. Dev Neurobiol. 2016;76(6):673-87.
  • Wiggin TD, Peck JH, Masino MA. Coordination of fictive motor activity in the larval zebrafish is generated by non-segmental mechanisms. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 2;9(10):e109117.
  • Wiggin TD, Anderson TM, Eian J, Peck JH, Masino MA. Episodic swimming in the larval zebrafish is generated by a spatially distributed spinal network with modular functional organization.  J Neurophysiol. 2012;108(3):925-34.

Honors and Awards:

  • Organization for Computational Neurosciences Travel Award
  • 5th SFN Satellite Symposium on Motor Systems Travel Award
  • Stark travel award

Professional Memberships:

  • Society for Neuroscience

Home Town:

  • Ann Arbor, MI
Tim Wiggin