David A. McCormick, Ph.D., an expert on the cellular networks of the brain’s cerebral cortex and thalamus, has been named Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neurobiology.
Recently, McCormick and colleagues discovered that synaptic communication within the cortex operates in both an analog and digital mode, and his lab is currently investigating how axons and synapses may operate in this regime. He is also studying rapid forms of plasticity of the visual cortex, the mechanisms by which the cortex generates changes in vision that allow for the perceptual “filling-in” of regions of visual space and help the visual system adapt to prolonged light stimulation. McCormick also conducts studies of the thalamus, a brain region involved in information flow to and from the cortex, and in sleep and consciousness.
A graduate of Purdue University, McCormick received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford before coming to Yale in 1987 as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology. He was named a full professor in 1994 and served as director of graduate studies in neurobiology from 1994 to 1999.
McCormick has earned numerous honors for his research, including the John R. Whittier Award from the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, the Donald B. Lindsley Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Behavioral Neuroscience, the Jane and Peter Pattison Award, a Sloan Foundation Award, the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Fund Senior Investigator Award, a McKnight Foundation Investigator Award, the Yngve Zotterman Prize from the Swedish Physiological Society and a Jacob Javits Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health.
McCormick is the associate editor of the journal Cerebral Cortex, among others, and a reviewing editor for Thalamus and Related Systems. He serves on the editorial board of Visual Neuroscience. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Physiological Society and the International Brain Research Organization.
In addition, McCormick is an avid cyclist who rides with and serves as faculty sponsor to the Yale cycling team, winners of the Ivy League championship for the last three seasons.
Dorys McConnell Duberg was the daughter of David Hall McConnell, founder of the Avon Corporation. After her death, her husband, H.P. John Duberg, established the Dorys McConnell Duberg Charitable Trust—which has endowed several other professorships and fellowships, particularly at Johns Hopkins University—in her memory in 1981. H.P. John Duberg died in 1990.