Michael J Higley, MD/PhD

Associate Professor of Neuroscience; Member, Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair (CNNR); Member, Kavli Institute for Neuroscience

Departments & Organizations

Neuroscience: Kavli Institute for Neuroscience | Swartz Program in Theoretical Neurobiology

Faculty Research

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics and Development: Chemical Biology; Nuclear Dynamics; Proteomics; Quantitative/Systems Biology | Neuroscience: Behavioral and Systems; Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience; Neural Disorders; Neurophysiology; Sensory Systems

Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. Higley studied behavioral neuroscience at Cornell University. He then completed his MD and PhD in the MSTP Program and the laboratory of Dr. Diego Contreras at the University of Pennsylvania. He continued his scientific training as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Bernardo Sabatini at Harvard Medical School and joined the faculty of the Yale Department of Neuroscience in 2010.

Education & Training

MD/PhD University of Pennsylvania (2007)
BA Cornell University (1998)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Sabatini Lab Harvard Medical School

Honors & Recognition

  • Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar AwardMarch of Dimes (2013)

  • NARSAD Young Investigator AwardBrain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) (2012)

  • Sloan Research FellowshipAlfred P. Sloan Foundation (2011)

  • Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the NeurosciencesEsther and Joseph Klingenstein Foundation (2011)

  • Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research (2010)

Professional Service

  • NIH Study Section: MDCN, NTRC, ETTN-10 (2012 - Present)

  • Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, eLife, PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology (2010 - Present)

  • Berkeley College Fellow, Freshman Advisor

  • MD,PhD Faculty Advisory Committee

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Contact Info

Michael J Higley, MD/PhD
Lab Location
Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine
295 Congress Avenue, Ste 449

New Haven, CT 06510
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Office Location
Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine
295 Congress Avenue, Ste 454E

New Haven, CT 06510
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Mailing Address
NeuroscienceDepartment of Neuroscience
PO Box 208001

New Haven, CT 06520-8001

Higley Lab

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapse

Glutamatergic excitation and GABAergic inhibition interact in neuronal dendrites.

2-photon imaging and uncaging

Synaptic potential and associated Ca transient evoked by focal glutamate uncaging onto a dendritic spine.

PN surrounded by SOM-INs

The dendrites of a layer 2/3 pyramidal neuron (red) are innervated by axons from nearby somatostatin-expressing interneurons (green).