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Leonard Kaczmarek, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology and of Cellular And Molecular Physiology

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Leonard Kaczmarek, PhD



Dr. Kaczmarek carried out his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of London. He continued his research career at the University of California Los Angeles (where he learned electrophysiology), the Free University of Brussels, Belgium (where he learned how to make neural network models) and the California Institute of Technology (where he made the fundamental discovery that phosphorylation state changes ionic currents) before joining the Yale faculty in 1981. The Kaczmarek group studies biochemical changes in neurons that result in prolonged changes in the behavior of an animal or detect specific patterns of sensory inputs. He is well-known for discovering the genes for several ion channel proteins that are directly responsible for the excitability of nerve cells. His work was the first to demonstrate directly that rapid changes in phosphorylation state of ion channels occur in vivo in response to changes in the animal’s environment. Currently his lab is focused on the way mutations in these proteins may be responsible for several forms of intellectual disability and autism. He has been very fortunate to have many exceptionally talented pre- and postdoctoral trainees in his laboratory. Thirty-two of the students and postdocs from the Kaczmarek laboratory have gone on to hold tenure-track faculty positions at major institutions including Brown University, Yale University, UCSF, UCSD, Vanderbilt and many more.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of London (1971)

Departments & Organizations